In the past month, progress continued in Massachusetts which I admit, I haven’t covered as much lately. So here is a timeline of previous events that I might have missed, as we get closer to the chosen few.
July 18, 2013 – Leominster town officials signed an agreement with the Baltimore developer Cordish Cos.’ concerning plans for building a $200 million casino in north-central Massachusetts. The Live! Casino Massachusetts project would result in 500 to 700 full-time, permanent jobs and will be very similar in quality and finish to Maryland Live! (Artist’s rendition of Leominster property above)
July 19, 2013 – Mohegan Sun claims that if it builds a casino and waterpark in Palmer, Mass., the resort would employ more than 3,000 full-time workers, not including hundreds of other indirect jobs. At stake is a project called Mohegan Sun Massachusetts that would be an investment of nearly $1 billion on about 152 acres of land off Exit 8 of Interstate-90, the Massachusetts Turnpike. The complex would include a 300,000-square-foot “aquatic adventure park” with a 300-room hotel, a 260,000-square-foot casino, 300,000 square feet of retail, a multi-screen cinema and a 250-room casino hotel. (See rendition above)
August 4, 2013 – As developers continue to vie for three state casino licenses, community and private colleges across the state are preparing to educate a workforce to fill the nearly 10,000 jobs this new industry is expected to create. In January, a consortium of 15 Massachusetts community colleges reached an agreement with the state gaming commission to form the Massachusetts Casino Careers Training Institute. While the three resort-casinos won’t even receive their licenses until April 2014 and likely won’t be operating for nearly two years after that, educators agree they need to be preparing the workforce now. “We have to be ready,” said Jeff Hayden, the vice president of workforce and training development at Holyoke Community College. Hayden and others at the western Massachusetts college are helping organize the training programs that will exist at community colleges across the state.
August 6, 2013 – The Milford Board of Selectmen has voted to negotiate with the operators of Connecticut’s Foxwoods casino, who want to open a $1 billion resort casino in the Massachusetts community. The board voted 2-1 to move forward with negotiations.
August 9, 2013 – The Massachusetts Gaming Commission begins the drafting of its requirements for the third phase of its casino application process, one that covers the regulation of casino games – such as blackjack and poker – and employee licensing. They are considering two options – the state adopting a comprehensive set of regulations and another which leaves it to casino operators to create their own controls.
August 13, 2013 – West Springfield’s two police unions join the local chamber of commerce in endorsing Hard Rock Hotel & Casino New England’s proposal to build an $800 million casino complex. (See artist’s rendition above)
August 13, 2013 – Raynham voters overwhelmingly endorsed a slots parlor in a town-wide referendum, making the community the first to pass a host agreement required for such a facility. Under the agreement, Raynham Park LLC will contribute more than $1 million in annual impact mitigation funds to the town, which will in turn allow the developers to operate a 1,250-machine slots parlor if awarded the state sole slots license.
August 20, 2013 – Tewksbury voters reject plans for a proposed slots parlor in town. Residents on Tuesday night voted 1,568-995 against zoning changes that would have allowed a proposal by Penn National Gaming to build a $200 million gambling facility on a 30-acre plot off Route 133 near the Andover town line to move forward.This is Penn’s second defeat, since earlier being deleted from consideration in Springfield.
That all for now.