New York-based developer KG Urban Enterprises has abruptly backed out of the competition for Massachusetts’ fourth casino license due to its inability to secure financing for the projected $650 million project.
In a letter to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), KG Urban partner Barry Gosin said that it was officially withdrawing its casino bid in Bedford due to failing to convince investors to finance the $650 million project.
“Given the uncertainty of obtaining viable financing for the project and the time constraints of the license application process, we cannot justify investing any additional funds in the project beyond the significant amount already invested,” Gosin wrote.
KG Urban had long eyed the city as the site of a waterfront casino and agreed to pay $12m annually to city coffers. Last month, New Bedford voters overwhelmingly said yes, we’d like a casino, with more than 70% voting in favor.
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell criticized KG Urban’s decision to abandon the casino project, saying that it is an extreme disappointment and Gosin had led everyone to believe he would have the necessary funds to build the project.
“City leadership and the people of New Bedford relied on these assurances in casting their enthusiastic support for the project,” said Mitchell. “We have been united as a community and have done everything possible to support” the KG casino proposal, “so city residents and its leadership are all understandably upset.”
With the New Bedford project off the table, only one project remains in the running for the license reserved for the southeastern region of the state: Mass Gaming & Entertainment’s $650 million proposal for the Brockton Fairgrounds, which voters also approved. However, the MGC can also decide not to issue the license at all.
“Our project will provide the Commonwealth with over $100 million a year in tax revenue once a resort casino is built in Brockton as well as $10 [million] to $12 million [to the city annually],” the Mass Gaming & Entertainment said.