When the Massachusetts Gaming Act was passed in November 2011, Massachusetts thought it had a great plan to take back gambling revenue from CT, RI and ME. It included three full casinos and one slots-only casino. Let’s review the progress:
MGM Springfield was licensed first, but still had many problems getting started – mostly traffic problems causing delays to the initial construction. Since then, MGM Springfield has started construction on the parking garage and seems to be on track for a 2019 opening.
Wynn Boston Harbor won out over Mohegan Sun’s venture at Suffolk Downs. After litigation, clean-up delays, and mayoral problems on both sides of Everett, it has now started cleaning up the once hazmat sight of Monsanto Chemicals and is looking to open late 2019.
The Southeast license turned out to be quite a mess. The Mashpee Wampanoags were given the go ahead to start their long awaited “First Light” resort casino, causing the MGC to say no to Brockton for the SE license. Now, the Wampanoags are stuck in land litigation in Taunton and at a standstill. No Brockton, No Taunton,
Seemingly out of no where months ago, the same area at Suffolk Downs is part of November’s Ballot question #1. Question 1 challenges the decisions that had set down rules for three casinos and one slots parlor. Wynn, and MGM Springfield are against the change in plans from the original expansion plan approved some 5 years ago. And I don’t blame them.
Here are 5 reasons to vote against Question 1:
- Only one site is suitable according to the law for a slots-only casino, Suffolk Downs on the border of East Boston and Revere, qualifies.
That would make it within a couple of miles of the Wynn resorts casino now under construction in Everett. It will be dwarfed by Wynn, both in size and revenue. Location is terrible.
- This is being pushed onto Massachusetts residences where traffic is already a severe problem. It was one reason why Everett was chosen over Revere (along with many other, some questionable, reasons).
If the traffic wasn’t too much in 2011, how has is it miraculously changed in 2016?
- Plainridge has been called a moderate success, underachieving all revenue expectations. It’s 15 minutes away from Twin River Casino in Rhode Island. Twin River has had a modest 5% decrease impact on this large casino, awaiting a hotel and the possibility of Newport Grand moving to Tiverton. So why have another small slot parlor that has to compete with , gee what’s his name again – STEVE WYNN!
- If the Mashpee Wampanoags finally achieve permission to build their large resort casino,
the slot parlor will be competing with Wynn in the west and “First Light” to the south. Remember, the MGC told Brockton to go take a hike because they believe the Wampanoags will have their casino sooner or later.
- Will it stop here, if approved? What about slot parlors in other poverty stricken cities like Palmer, Worcester? Approving Question 1 will open the door to more casinos in an already saturated area.
FYI – Voting Yes means you are allowing the addition of another slot parlor in the Suffolk Downs area. Voting No means you prefer the original decision of 3 casinos and one slot parlor as agreed upon in 2011. Good luck Massachusetts voters. Take a step back and look carefully before you vote. It isn’t called QUESTION #1 for nothing!