While the Wynn Boston Harbour resort casino and MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts have been forced to delay their launch dates till 2018 due to a number of opposing factors, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe appears to have had a much easier time in implementing plans for its proposed casino in Taunton.
The tribe recently confirmed that it will have its ground breaking ceremony on the April 5 for its First Light Resort & Casino’s. The tribe has partnered with the Malaysian based Genting Group to construct a $500 million casino that will be located in an industrial park and spread across 151 acres. Earlier this month the Mayor of Taunton Thomas C. Hoye Jr and Cedric Cromwell, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman confirmed that the first phase of the project will open before the first half of 2017 and also revealed artistic blueprints of the casino and site plans.
Once the First Light casino project is fully completed, the casino will have a gaming floor that will be able to accommodate 150 gaming tables, 40 poker tables and around 3,000 slot machines. There will also be three 15 storey hotel towers that will have a total of nine hundred VIP suites and guest rooms, 9 retail stores, a number of high end restaurants and a buffet as well.
Some of the other highlights of the Taunton casino include a special 31,000 square foot ballroom, a luxury spa, a water park, business and conference rooms. The First Light casino will have ample parking space as provision is being made for 3,980 cars to be parked along with an additional parking garage which an additional 738 cars can be parked.
The Las Vegas based firm Steelman Partners are the architects for this project and although it was initially estimated to be around $500 million, analysts believe that those figures could go a lot higher and even touch $1 billion. The tribe remains confident in its partnership with the Genting Group who has substantially financed the project and will now also be responsible for running operations of the new First Light casino.
In a statement, Kevin C. Jones, president of Genting Massachusetts said “Genting will operate the tribal casino on behalf of the tribe. We will operate the casino while helping to build up the capacity of the tribe to operate it themselves. Our role is to work ourselves out of a job on behalf of the tribe.”
Some of the top executives from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and the Genting group along with senior city officials from Taunton are expected to attend the ground breaking ceremony on April 5.