In Massachusetts and the plan that would see the city of Brockton host a $677 million resort casino has reportedly once again been snubbed by the state’s gambling regulator despite the likelihood that the nearby First Light Resort and Casino will ever be built.
According to a report from The Enterprise newspaper, yesterday saw the Massachusetts Gaming Commission ignore a large amount of cajoling from operator Mass Gaming and Entertainment and the mayor for the Massachusetts community, Moises Rodrigues, in deciding by a three-to-one vote not to revisit its April of 2016 decision to rejected a license for the Plymouth County project.
The newspaper reported that Mass Gaming and Entertainment is controlled by billionaire casino and real estate magnate Neil Bluhm, who is also Chairman for Rush Street Gaming, in partnership with local businessman George Carney and that it had hoped to be given permission to open its new gambling facility on the site of the city’s former Brockton Fairgrounds. First proposed in 2015, this project was later rejected, in part, due to its close proximity to the planned First Light Resort and Casino from the federally-recognized Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.
However, The Enterprise reported that a 2016 court decision regarding the land-into-trust grant for the First Light Resort and Casino has subsequently made it increasingly unlikely that the $1 billion project will ever be built. Mass Gaming and Entertainment was purportedly hopeful that this new set of circumstances along with a revised plan for its Brockton project would sway the Massachusetts Gaming Commission into revisiting its initial rejection.
The newspaper reported that the Massachusetts regulator had earlier granted licenses to the $966 million MGM Springfield from MGM Resorts International as well as Wynn Resorts Limited’s even larger Encore Boston Harbor with both facilities having subsequently opened to rave reviews. It had been envisioned that the eastern state would authorize a further such venue for its southeastern corner, which was given the rather dreary title of ‘Region C,’ but numerous factors have subsequently conspired to leave the slots-only Plainridge Park Casino as the area’s sole gambling facility.
The Enterprise reported that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission was seemingly unmoved by the latest attempt to get a license for the Brockton scheme with Commissioner, Eileen O’Brien, telling Mass Gaming and Entertainment that the previous rejection had not been solely due to fears over market saturation. She proclaimed that the regulator had moreover been unimpressed with the proposed design for the venue while furthermore citing a local referendum that had only authorized the project by a mere 143 votes alongside the closeness of Brockton Fairgrounds to a school as added reasons for the 2016 denial.
O’Brien reportedly told the newspaper…
“All of those factors to me cut against us reconsidering it at this point. No one has forgotten ‘Region C’. We are all fully aware it’s out there. I think that’s a conversation for another day.”