NEW: Plainville Slots Wins + West Springfield Casino Loses
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The Plainville referendum vote was 1,582 for the Penn National agreement and 502 against it, with a registered-voter turnout of about 37 percent. In West Springfield, the tally was 4,165 for the Hard Rock deal and 3,413 against it, with a 46-percent turnout.
Hard Rock’s is the first resort-casino project to be beaten at the polls under the state’s three-year-old Expanded Gaming Act. Two other proposals for the one available Western Mass. resort-casino license remain alive: MGM Grand’s for downtown Springfield; and Mohegan Sun’s for Palmer.
Three other proposals are still alive in Mass. for a total of three regional resort casinos, which, unlike slots parlors, contain other games such as blackjack and roulette. Two are for Eastern Mass., in Boston and Everett; and one is for Central Mass., Milford. Two other developers – one, in Leominster and the other, in Raynham – are vying to secure the Bay State’s sole slots-parlor license.
Penn National’s Bay State bets
On September 5, the Mass. Gaming Commission approved letting the Town of Plainville proceed with the September 10 referendum vote on Penn National’s proposal. The $2.9-billion, publicly traded firm wants to develop a slots parlor on the site of the struggling, 14-year-old Plainridge Park.
On September 3, Penn National signed an option to buy the 89-acre harness-racing complex from Ourway Realty for an undisclosed amount. The property transfer would occur if Penn National secures a slots license. Last month, the Gaming Commission disqualified an Ourway Realty slots proposal because of concern with business dealings by a former Ourway Realty executive.
When Ourway Realty was the slots developer, the Plainville referendum vote was scheduled for September 10. Penn National asked the town’s Board of Selectmen to honor the terms of the host agreement with Ourway Realty and proceed with the vote on that date.
Originally, Penn National was one of two big players seeking to develop a resort casino in Springfield. But Penn National lost out when that city’s officials backed MGM Grand’s resort-casino plan. Next, Penn National pitched a slots parlor for Tewskbury. However, the town’s voters rejected a required zoning change.
- Casino Series Part 3: Mass Shortchanged on Casino Fees
- MA vs RI Casino Wars Heat Up
- Part 8: How Casinos Could Devastate Worcester Theaters
- Casino Series Part 4: Following the Casino Money Trail
- MINDSETTER ™ Matt Amorello: How Casinos Could Have Saved Our Roads
- Tim Cahill: Why the Gaming Commission Wants the Casino Law Changed
- Casino Series Part 5: Where Developers Are Looking For Land
- NEW: Chicago Casino Firm Sets Sights on Worcester for Slots Parlor
- Worcester Casino: 13 to Watch in Central Mass in 2013
- Casino Game Changes: Emergency Regulations, Opposition Ups Ante
- Casino Series Part 7: Massachusetts Casino Jobs Could Prove Fleeting
- NEW: Governor Gives Mass Tribe Casino Rights
- Worcester’s EcoTarium to Host Casino For Kids Next Month
- Casino Gaming: Top Stories in Central Mass in 2012
- Deadline Approaches For MA Casino Developers
- NEW: Mohegan Sun Announces Details Of New Casino in Palmer
- Casino Rewards Programs: How They Stack Up
- Gambling Addicts Are Easy Prey For Massachusetts Casinos + Slots
- NEW: Rush Street Gaming Unveils Worcester Casino Plans
- Casino Series Part 1: Did Murray Desert Worcester in Casino Bill?
- Labor Woes: Casinos delay- No New jobs Until 2016
- NEW: Worcester Council Open to Casino Proposals
- Casino Series Part 2: Kraft and Vegas - a new NFL?
- MA Residents Spent Almost $1 Billion at NE Casinos
- Part 6: Behind the Massachusetts Casino Law, a Bevy of Power Players