“Suffolk Downs,” Oosthoek said, “could be the best opportunity to improve traffic.”
Not everyone is on board with a slots parlor in Danvers if Suffolk Downs wins a license, on the theory that two gaming locations within 15 miles of one another might saturate the market.
“I’m skeptical of any slots in Danvers if Suffolk Downs gets the slots or the casino,” said Danvers state Rep. Ted Speliotis.
If the mall gets a slots parlor, its focus may shift from a retail to a casino destination, he said, noting that the state law also provides a way for a slots parlor to convert to a full-fledged casino.
“I know in other parts of the country, small slot machine parlors have been integrated into neighborhoods,” Speliotis said, “but I feel the Liberty Tree Mall is a stepchild to the Northshore Mall, and it could be absorbed by gambling.”
MORE ON TOURISM
What: Seventh annual Tourism Summit
Sponsored by: North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
When: Friday, Feb. 1, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Boston Peabody Marriott, 8A Centennial Drive, Peabody
Keynote speakers: Thomas Glynn, CEO and executive director of Massport; Erik Rodenhiser, owner of The Griffen Theatre in Salem
Admission: $64 for NBCVB members; nonmembers, $74; students, $48
Free events: Tourism U workshops at 2 and 3 p.m.
Register online: www.mktix.com/nob/