Thank goodness November 4th is over. One more political ad in TV and I felt I would throw the damn thing out – but because that would mean no Big Bang Theory, I’ll just keep my TV and be glad we’re done with those things.
But, New England Casino Gaming has had quite a lot of news and there are many repercussions due to all that News on November 4th.
So what happened? What does it mean? And what has happened since?
Well, here is an overview of what will probably fodder (hmm, interesting word for all these topics) to cover in the coming months.
MASS – Welcome to casino Gaming in the Bay State – Massachusetts voters on Tuesday upheld a 2011 law that paved the way for legal casino gambling in the state, voting down a referendum that would have overturned the measure and stopped two planned casinos.
SPRINGFIELD, MASS – voted “overwhelmingly” against the repeal. I guess they were in favor of MGM is building a resort casino in their city.
AFTER NOVEMBER 4th
With a switch in governors occurring in January, Stephen Crosby, who heads up the five-member commission overseeing the state’s gambling industry plans to stay where he is., saying he wants to see the casinos authorized by the 2011 state law built.
The commission also voted to push back by two months application deadlines for the Region C license, citing uncertainty that had been created by the unsuccessful ballot question and ongoing questions about whether the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has the ability to build a casino in Taunton.
The third and final resort casino license remains a major question mark. Many suitors, no clear cut movement between Foxwoods’s casino for Fall River, or other suggested casinos in New Bedford and Bridgewater. Gambling regulators reopened bidding, setting the new deadline for Dec. 1. The commission hopes to award the license by August 2015. Two federally-recognized American Indian tribes are developing plans to open gambling halls in southern Massachusetts. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is proposing a $500 million resort casino on 150 acres in Taunton. The tribe has reached an accord with the state on its plan, but still, critically, needs federal approval to take the land in trust. Meanwhile, the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe on Martha’s Vineyard is trying to build a gambling hall filled with electronic betting machines on a remote part of the resort island. The state, however, argues in a federal lawsuit that the tribe long-ago forfeited its rights to open a casino.
Looks like Penn National Gaming at the right idea continuing with their project. Penn hopes to open its proposed $225 million slot parlor at the Plainville harness racing track by June 2015, which would make it the first gambling facility to open under the 2011 casino law.
The $800 million MGM Springfield project is expected to break ground in spring 2015 and take roughly two-and-a-half years to build, putting MGM on track for a 2017 opening. MGM’s casino plan calls for a casino floor offering 3,000 slot machines and 75 gambling tables, a 250-room hotel and shopping, dining, meeting and entertainment space on 14.5 acres, while MGM has promising to preserve historic buildings and storefronts downtown while adding new amenities like a public plaza, cinema and bowling alley. MGM’s project is expected to employ over 2,000 temporary construction workers and no less than 3,000 permanent workers when the casino opens.
- The Wynn Everett project will begin with hopes to get started on environmental cleanup at the roughly 30-acre former Monsanto chemical plant site in early 2015, assuming it secures state approvals. Wynn says cleanup of soil containing arsenic, lead, copper and other heavy metals should cost about $30 million. Construction of the $1.6 billion waterfront project will likely take over two years, meaning the resort could open in late 2017.
- Wynn will be redesigning its proposed hotel. The casino’s current plan calls for a 27-story glass hotel tower with 500 luxury rooms, a gambling floor with 160 table games and 3,200 slot machines and space for a nightclub, restaurants, retail stores and meeting and convention space. Wynn also wants to build boat docks, provide a water taxi service into Boston and create a public harbor walk with an amphitheater and other amenities. Wynn says the project will create 4,000 temporary construction jobs and 4,000 permanent casino jobs.
- Wynn officials Thursday presented state gaming commissioners with an outsized $85 million check meant to represent payment for a 15-year license fee. MGM is expected to do the same on November 17th.
That’s all for now – but it’s a start!