New Bedford Gets Overwhelming Approval

New Bedford Casino 2If community support is important to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, New Bedford is the best place for the last license. Unlike Brockton, there was no organized opposition to the ballot question in New Bedford for a proposed $650 million Foxwoods-managed resort casino for New Bedford’s waterfront.

SOUTHCOAST TODAY, however thinks “It would be a terrible mistake to assume the path to Whaling City prosperity is now guaranteed.” Well, let’s take a look.

New Bedford rendering

New Bedford rendering

The referendum passed Tuesday with 73 percent voting in favor of it – 73%! by the way, New Bedford voters had backed casinos by wide margins on two non-binding public policy questions in 2001 and 1993!  So, no lack of support here.

The project would preserve parts of the brick power plant, including its towering smokestack, as well as create a public harborwalk and pedestrian connections to the former whaling capital’s historic downtown.

The project supposedly has the potential to create nearly 6,000 jobs for a metro area that has among the highest unemployment rates in the state, at about 6.3 percent.

Under a so-called “host community agreement” reached with New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell’s administration, KG Urban has agreed to pay the city $4.5 million in initial payments if it wins the casino license.  The company would then pay the city at least $12.5 million annually once the casino opens, on top of paying real estate taxes and investing millions of dollars into public waterfront improvements and related environmental cleanup. Foxwoods, the Connecticut casino company run by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, has agreed to manage the operation.

This will be a difficult choice for the MGC.  Both cities need jobs, economic help, and already deal with high crime and traffic, which is expected to increase with a casino in their town – both where the proposed casinos will be.

New Bedford Fishing Fleet

New Bedford Fishing Fleet

New Bedford’s members of its historic fishing industry have stepped firmly into the city’s casino debate. KG Urban Enterprises plans to redevelop a polluted former power plant sitting on the waterfront off of Route 18, which divides downtown New Bedford from the piers jammed with fishing boats in the harbor.

Brockton has issues with the casino very close to its own public high school,

Proposed Brockton Casino Look

Proposed Brockton Casino Look

as well as the eastside residential area and the traffic impact on both.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission could still choose not to issue the license at all…..which would be just fine if you ask Rhode Island.

The saga continues.  Special thanks to Rhode Island Correspondent Miguel for his hard work and help.  NETime Gambling salutes you!

That’s all for now.

Binbin

New Bedford Casino Proposal Good – For Now

Could Circumstances Eventually Bring No Casino to Region C?

Developers proposing a Foxwoods casino for the city’s waterfront have met a critical deadline set by gambling regulators, according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

NewBedfordcasinorenderingarchitectsllpA

Proposed New Bedford Waterfront

KG Urban Enterprises submitted the requested documents by Tuesday’s deadline as it seeks to win the state’s third and final resort casino license. Wynn and MGM hold the other two licenses while Plainridge Park Casino, a slots-only facility, opens June 24th, only 13 days away.

The commission will be reviewing the documents as part of the process before being released publicly.

The New Bedford proposal, which city residents will vote on June 23, will be discussed at the commission’s Thursday meeting.

Proposed Brockton Casino Look

Proposed Brockton Casino Look

So, it is still  a two horse race for the Region C license as far as we know.  KG Urban, of New York, is competing with Mass Gaming & Entertainment for a casino license reserved for the state’s southeastern region. Mass Gaming & Entertainment proposes a resort for the fairgrounds in Brockton, Massachusetts.

That’s all for now.

Binbin