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Decision on State’s Only Slot Parlor Expected This Week

It’s a big week ahead in Casino talks for the Bay State.

An rendition of what the Plainridge Park Casino would look like. Photo Credit: Plainridge Park Casino
An rendition of what the Plainridge Park Casino would look like. Photo Credit: Plainridge Park Casino
By Liz Taurasi

This week is an important one when it comes to whether or not we see legal gambling in the Bay State.

In the Southeastern Massachusetts suburbs, Plainridge will find out if it’s awarded the state’s lone slot parlor license by Friday, Feb. 28. On Tuesday, Revere voters take to the polls to vote for or against a proposed Mohegan Sun casino at Suffolk Downs.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission also plans to release the results of its months-long evaluation process during a series of public meetings leading up to the decision by week’s end on the state’s first slot parlor.

By week’s end, Plainridge and Penn National will also find out if they have the approval to go forward with its planned PlainRidge Park Casino in the Plainridge Racecourse site on Rte. 1 in Plainville Massachusetts.

There is only one slot parlor license available for the state of Massachusetts.

The state gaming commission is expected to announce the winner of the state’s only slot parlor license, which will allow the recipient to provide up to 1,250 slot machines but no gaming tables. Two other properties are also in consideration: Raynham Park (the former dog-racing track) and Cordish Cos (a family owned Maryland company) which is proposing a slot parlor in Leominster.

Last September, Plainridge Racecourse owners reached a deal to sell the track to Penn National conditional on the gaming company getting the approval from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Four towns surrounding the current Plainridge location had to sign off on a community agreement with Penn National. In December, Foxborough was the fourth and final town to do so. Penn National needed this support to go forward in the process of obtaining the state’s only slot parlor licence for the harness racing track.

Last summer, Penn National failed to get community support for a slot parlor on a 30-acre lot off Ames Pond Drive in Tewksbury near the Andover line. In September, Tewksbury selectmen voted unanimously to cancel a planned Sept. 21 special referendum on casino gambling just three days after special Town Meeting voters turned down a slots-only casino proposal.

Revere Casino Vote Tuesday Critical to Next Steps

And the state’s first slot parlor isn’t the only casino news this week in Massachusetts.

On Tuesday, voters in Revere are heading to the polls to determine whether Mohegan Sun will be able to move forward with it’s proposed $1.3 billion resort casino at Suffolk Downs.

Massachusetts’ expanded gambling law allows for three regional resort casinos in the state.

Mohegan Sun will be in competition for the east license (one of three in the state) with Wynn Resorts, which is looking to build a $1.6 billion casino along the Mystic River in Everett.
BH February 24, 2014 at 08:20 PM
It's not like the CT casinos that are in very nice, rural and scenic areas. You can make these "resorts" as nice as you want, but in all of these communities you walk outside and face poverty, crime and adbandoned properties. It's a band aid, once politicians find ways to launder, steal, divert and allocate the revenue in selfish ways, these communities will be right back where they started.
D Penta February 24, 2014 at 08:25 PM
I was pulling for a casino down the road in Milford!
John February 25, 2014 at 08:18 AM
Totally agree with your sentiments, BH. Instead of doing their jobs -- effectively managing the state budget (I know, stop laughing everyone), and rooting out waste, fraud, and corruption at every turn -- the Governor and Democratic-controlled state legislature instead want the easy money, oops, I mean "revenue," that these casinos will (allegedly) pour into the state coffers. Heck, upcoming state budgets are already based on having this casino cash already in hand. That would be like me planning a major purchase today on a bonus I MIGHT receive years down the road. Talk about dumb! If and when casinos do ever get built in this state (remember, folks, this IS Massachusetts, after all) give them just a few years before they all turn into Atlantic City, Part II.
Richard Smith February 25, 2014 at 08:42 AM
And in other news, AG Coakley is attempting legislation to forbid casinos from extending credit to people with $800 per month in Social Security and then putting a lien on their homes. That's alright, we'll just put the losers up in public housing. As they say, if you can't spot the pigeon, you're it.
BH February 25, 2014 at 07:46 PM
A bit unrelated and not our problem, but if and when any of these open, it will hurt the CT casinos a bit. They can't be too excited about that (in 15 years when they are finally built)

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