Today’s post is a three part look at First Light in Taunton.
1) The Mashpee’s Break Ground on new Resort Casino Project;
2) What does it all mean for Massachusetts revenue and the Region C gaming license? and
3) a brief comparison with the two CT tribal casinos.
Taunton looks like it will have a new business partner – at least at this present time! But more is to come before it is certain. It seems the Mashpee Wanpanoags are willing to leave that to the present judicial system, or luck. They are determined to take it into their own hands.
The ground has been broken, despite some that say the lawsuit, filed by Taunton property owners who are challenging the federal government’s designation of the casino site as an Indian reservation, could drag on for a decade or more.
But, what happens if they start building while all the red tape created by federal bureaucracy takes the time expected?
What this “hurry-up and build” strategy does is shake up the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, making those in charge of assigning a Region C gaming license having to make one of two decisions, and quickly:
- Award Mass Gaming & Entertainment the region C license, bringing two casinos in close proximity . This means the Mashpees won’t add to Massachusetts revenue and 4 casinos – Brockton, Taunton, Everett & Plainville – will all compete for the same local gambling patrons.
- One casino – First Light – and no Region C license awarded. The tribe previously reached an agreement with the state to pay 17 percent of its gambling revenue to Massachusetts if the state does not license a competitor in the region.
This week, however, is all about “First Light” Project and the dream that the Mashpee Wampanoags have been hoping for and needing for decades.
Sean Murphy, of the Boston Globe, covered the ceremony. He said “The festive ceremony marked a breakthrough for the $1 billion resort casino, which tribe leaders say will be one of the flashiest in the world. The tribe plans to open a gambling hall, which will feature thousands of slot machines and table games like roulette, blackjack, and craps, by June 2017. Work on the rest of the project, including three hotels, will continue until 2020.”
That casino opening, if not sidetracked by the pending lawsuit, will be an opening before both MGM Springfield and Wynn Everett (now called Wynn Boston Harbor). “It’s a proud day for my people,” said Roland Tobey, 74, who traveled from Connecticut to the Mashpee’s tribal reservation here to celebrate the casino’s official groundbreaking Tuesday. “It’s been a long time coming.”
How would it compare to the Connecticut tribal casinos and
Wynn Boston Harbour? So little is known yet about Wynn’s project, we will concentrate on the open properties – Connecticut casinos which are listed with
Foxwoods first, Mohegan Sun second.
When complete, the First Light Resort Casino is expected to include:
3,000 slot machines, F – 5500 / MS – 5000
150 table games, F – 300 / MS – 300
40 poker tables, F – 100 / MS 42
900 hotel rooms, F – 2266 / MS 1600
31,000-square-foot ballroom, F – 150,000 / MS – 100,000
( see CONNECTICUT CASINOS )
We at NETG hope for the best in Massachusetts. The better the competition, the better the consumer has it. But these casinos must be sustainable for jobs. Too many could mean no one wins – even the states themselves banking on inflated revenue figures of anticipated revenue.
More to come. That’s all for now.