The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has agreed to proceed with the application process for a casino in the southeastern part of the state despite the city of Brockton being the lone applicant.
Mass Gaming and Entertainment Chairman Neil Bluhm, who is seeking a casino resort on the Brockton Fairgrounds, and Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter, presented the city’s updated proposal to the MGC on Thursday.
Bluhm spoke about the economic viability of the project while Carpenter told the commission about the positive impact a casino in the city would have.
“The inability of New Bedford to get something done was really irrelevant to the ability of us to get a successful casino,” said Bluhm.
Bluhm also promised the MGC that his casino could open faster than the already licensed casinos in Everett and Springfield.
“We believe if we could get a license by the end of this year, we could be up and running by either the late spring or early summer of 2018. We are shovel-ready to go,” said Bluhm.
The five members of the MGC agreed unanimously after Bluhm and Carpenter’s presentation but MGC Chairman Stephen Crosby said they won’t know the Brockton casino specifics until Mass Gaming submits a detailed plans on September 30.
“They’ve reiterated what we’ve already known, that there is an economic analysis that says it is viable,” said Crosby. “When they finish their application, we’ll know what they’re really doing, what kind of a deal is this, have they really hit the $500 million minimum, are their financial projections plausible, is their financial backing sufficient, all that sort of stuff.”
There is speculation that the MGC might decide not to award the casino due to lack of competition for the state’s fourth and last license. There are also concerns that the casino market will be saturated with the new Plainridge Park Casino slots parlor open 27 miles west of Brockton, Wynn Resorts’ in-development $1.7b casino in Everett 27 miles north, plans for a Rhode Island gambling hall just over the Massachusetts line in Tiverton, and the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe possibly winning federal approval to build a tribal casino in nearby Taunton.