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Real Estate Group To Divest From Gambling Business In Massachusetts

Vornado Realty Doesn't Want To Be Hassled By Background Checks

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The Boston Globe reported late last week that a company is looking to sell its stake in a gambling operation because its principals don’t want to undergo new and extensive background checks needed to win a bid for a new casino near the city of Boston.

Vornado Realty Trust, which owns nearly 20 percent of Suffolk Downs, reportedly has started taking the necessary steps to divest in order to not be involved with the potential project. Las Vegas casino boss Steve Wynn is also hoping to win the bid.

Suffolk Downs, a racetrack currently operating in the state, and its new partner, Nevada-based Caesars Entertainment Corp., would like to be approved for a $1 billion Las Vegas-style casino in the area (Wynn’s plan would be slightly more expensive). Massachusetts not long ago authorized three state-of-the-art properties to be constructed within its borders. The move came as other states in the region have taken steps to beef up their respective gambling industries.

The move by Vornado Realty Trust reportedly isn’t expected to jeopardize Suffolk and Caesars from competing against Wynn for regulatory approval to build.

A “casino specialist” at the University of Massa­chusetts Dartmouth told The Globe that Vornado probably just didn’t want to go through with the hassle of a Gaming Commission investigation. Nothing shady was implied by Vornado’s desire to avoid a background check.