Mohegan Sun, which worked for five years on a casino project in rural Palmer, Massachusetts only to see it come up 94 votes short on Election Day, has now shifted its focus to greater Boston. The move leaves Palmer casino supporters concerned about the future.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has authorized Mohegan Sun to apply for a license to build a casino on land owned by Suffolk Downs in eastern Massachusetts. However, a new voter referendum on the project will have to take place.
Seeking to avoid a scenario that would have left just one applicant for the lone casino license available in eastern Massachusetts, the five-member gaming commission voted unanimously Tuesday to waive a requirement that a casino applicant secure the approval of local voters before filing a final license application.
With a deadline looming at the end of the month for final applications for resort casino licenses in Massachusetts, the state’s gaming industry regulators have delayed a key decision on the fate of one project. The decision will determine how many competitors will vie for the lone casino license available in the greater Boston area.
The town clerk in Palmer, Massachusetts is expected to announce this week the date for a recount of the votes cast in the November 5th referendum on Mohegan Sun’s $1 billion casino proposal. The Connecticut-based casino operator late last week filed the necessary paperwork to obtain a recount of the referendum it lost by fewer than 100 votes.
The effort to bring casino gambling to Massachusetts is “on the verge of being a mess,” according to a gaming policy expert. Voters in Palmer and East Boston rejected casino projects on Election Day. There is the possibility some casino developers won’t pass a strict background check. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Clyde Barrow, a professor of public policy at UMass Dartmouth, who specializes in the gaming industry. He asked Barrow to assess the current state of casino development in Massachusetts
Mohegan Sun plans to ask for a recount of Tuesday’s referendum in Palmer where voters by a narrow margin rejected the company’s plans for a $1 billion resort casino. If the results stand, it will leave MGM in Springfield as the only company left to apply for the lone casino license available in western Massachusetts.
The casino referendum was defeated by a vote of 2,657 to 2,564—a margin of 93 votes—according to final, but unofficial, results announced Tuesday night by the Palmer Town Clerk’s office. Turnout was an astounding 66 percent of the town’s registered voters.
The focus of the casino competition in western Massachusetts is now squarely on Palmer. People on both sides of the casino issue in the rural town are gearing up for a referendum with an eye toward what happened with Hard Rock’s casino project last week in West Springfield.
Entertainment industry giant Hard Rock’s plans to build a resort casino in western Massachusetts have been rejected by voters in the small town of West Springfield.
By a lopsided margin of 55 to 45 percent voters Tuesday defeated Hard Rock’s proposal for an $800 million resort casino on the Big E fairgrounds. Ted Hebert, a member of a grassroots organization that worked to defeat the casino was thrilled.
Tim Maland, Hard Rock New England President said the company had no plans to try to put a casino somewhere else in Massachusetts
The Town Council in Palmer, Massachusetts has endorsed a casino development agreement with Mohegan Sun. The Connecticut-based casino operator is proposing a $1 billion development in the rural town. It is one of three projects competing for the lone casino license available in western Massachusetts. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Town Councilor Paul Burns, who has been a long-time supporter of a casino project in Palmer.
For the first time in 15 years, Connecticut is getting more revenue from its state lottery than from slot machines at the two tribal casinos.
Data compiled by the Department of Consumer Protection for the latest fiscal year show the Connecticut Lottery Corp. transferred $312.1 million to the state's General Fund — the main spending account for state government.
In comparison, Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Mohegan Sun transferred a total of nearly $296.4 million to the fund as the state's share of their slot machine revenue.