Politics & Government
9:08 am
Wed November 6, 2013

East Boston Votes Against Suffolk Downs Casino

No Eastie Casino, an anti-casino group, celebrate the election result Tuesday.
No Eastie Casino, an anti-casino group, celebrate the election result Tuesday.
Credit Ibby Caputo / WGBH News

Voters in East Boston rejected a proposal for a casino at Suffolk Downs.

"David Beat Goliath! David Beat Goliath! David Beat Goliath!" anti-casino activists chanted at a victory party Tuesday.

In this case, "Goliath" is a $1 billion plan for a casino at Suffolk Downs, the racetrack that straddles East Boston and Revere. And David is a grassroots movement called No Eastie Casino made up of volunteers that banned together to defeat a deep-pocketed opponent. And just like in the Old Testament, David won.

"I can’t stop crying — I can’t believe it — I can’t believe it," one reveler said.

The No Easties celebrated their unlikely victory in the basement of Our Saviour Lutheran Church in East Boston. They spent less than $40,000 on their campaign, compared to a $2 million lobbying effort by Suffolk Downs.

"They had the numbers, they had the man power, they had the money," said Jessica Curtis an organizer of the campaign against the casino, but East Bostonians had heart.

"Everyone brought what they had to the table," Curtis said. "Some people had writing ability, some people just had relationships. Everyone brought it together for love of the community, and this is the result that you see today."

While thrilled with the result, organizers say the campaign against casinos will not end until the 2011 gambling law is repealed.

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