A harness racing track has been chosen by Massachusetts gambling regulators as the site of the state’s first casino. If all goes according to schedule, the casino that will have up to 1,250 slot machines, but no table games, will open just over a year from now.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, in the most significant decision of its two years in existence, voted 3-2 on Thursday to offer a license to Penn National Gaming to operate a slot machine parlor at the Plainridge harness racetrack. The track is in Plainville on the Rhode Island border.
A planned overhaul of an elevated section of Interstate 91 in Springfield Massachusetts is raising questions about access to two proposed downtown casinos.
MGM is planning an estimated $800 million downtown casino that would front the highway. Penn National Gaming, which is planning an $807 million casino, estimates that 40 percent of its traffic would come from the elevated section of I- 91.
The Republican reports that Stephen P. Crosby, chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said traffic plans will be a major factor when awarding licenses.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno plans to begin negotiations today with the two casino companies competing for development rights. Top executives from MGM Resorts and Penn National Gaming gave assurances at a public forum on Monday that their projects will not cause monumental traffic problems.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said he appreciates that two world class developers are each prepared to invest up to $1 billion dollars for economic development in downtown Springfield.