Mashpee Wampanoag to break ground on Massachusetts casino on Tuesday

genting-malaysia-mashpee-wampanoag-first-light-casinoThe Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has announced an official groundbreaking ceremony for its planned new casino in Taunton, Massachusetts.

The federally recognized tribe plans to turn some ceremonial sod on Tuesday morning at an industrial park 30 miles south of Boston, which will serve as the future home of its First Light Resort and Casino.

The casino, which the Cape Cod-based tribe has estimated could cost up to $1b to develop, plans to open its first phase by mid-2017. When fully constructed, the property will boast three hotel towers, retail and dining options, a water park and – oh, yeah – a casino featuring 190 gaming and poker tables and 3k slots.

The casino site is on land that the federal government placed into trust for the tribe earlier this year. Rush Street Gaming subsidiary Massachusetts Gaming and Entertainment, which is trying to convince state gaming regulators to approve a casino in the Brockton area, has challenged the federal government’s decision in the hopes of derailing the tribe’s plans.

Undaunted, the tribe has enlisted Genting Malaysia to handle the property’s gaming operations via a newly minted subsidiary, Genting Massachusetts LLC. On Friday, Genting Malaysia filed papers with the Malaysian stock exchange indicating that the initial management contract for the Massachusetts casino would last for seven years, commencing with the expected mid-2017 opening.

Genting Malaysia has invested $250m in interest-bearing promissory notes issued by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Gaming Authority but the company does not have an equity stake in the First Light project.

Neither Genting nor the tribe have disclosed financial details of their deal but CIMB Research issued a report on Tuesday suggesting that Genting Malaysia could generate around $25m in annual management fees from the project, based on traditional casino management fees of around 25% to 30% of net profit.