Brockton Residents Approve Casino

th (11)Sounds good, right – Brockton approves casino!  But here’s the rest of the story….

Out of the entire city of Brockton, 30% voted, and the casino proposal was approved by 143 votes – 7,163 to 7,020.  Not really an overwhelming  acceptance of the project.! And according to Philip Marcelo of the Tri-City Herald, anti-casino activists said Wednesday they may request a recount after Brockton voters narrowly approved a $650 million resort casino proposed for the Brockton Fairgrounds, “saying casino opponents took pride in the narrow loss.”  Isabel Lopez, an organizer for the Brockton Interfaith Community, said ” “It means a lot….This was just a volunteer effort. The people that were for the casino spent more than a million dollars in advertising.”

The Brockton casino is competing with projects in New Bedford and Somerset for the license reserved for the state’s southeast region, Region C.  And even though Brockton is one step ahead of both in the process, 143 votes shouldn’t be the great sign of approval that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is looking for.

Brockton High School - a Mammoth Facilty

Brockton High School

Opponents of a Brockton casino held signs and chanted outside the polling place at Brockton’s West Middle School. One of their key objections was that the proposed site for the new casino is directly across the street from the entrance to the city’s high school.

But according to WGBH reported Craig Lemoult, there are those that are just as much in favor, siting the positive aspects of the project.  Revitalizing the community, bringing a lot of jobs (Casino-backers are promising 1,500 jobs with hiring preference in the city if the casino is built,) & outsiders into the community to support other businesses are resident hopes for the future.

Jobs, especially construction at first, then low-level service industry jobs, are a plus.  But, as numerous places around the country, few casinos bring in business to support the surrounding establishments.  Unless the casino is part of resort, as a destination (and even then it’s not a sure thing – ask CT.), gamblers are in & out.  They are far apt to dine, buy retail, and entertain themselves IN the casino, not spend time basking in what the city outside has to offer.

In any event, congrats, I guess, to Brockton.  Now it’s time to sell this proposal to the MGC.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Brockton Passes Hurdle for Massachusetts Region C License

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Proposed look of Casino in Brockton

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission last Wednesday approved the developers of a proposed casino in the city of Brockton, Mass.  The next step will include a referendum next week that will determine the fate of the $650 million project moving forward in the competition for Massachusetts’ third and final resort casino license.

The Brockton developers propose a resort casino on the Brockton Fairgrounds that they say will reflect a New England style with a distinctive, red-brick exterior. The project calls for a roughly 250-room hotel, a gambling floor with about 2,000 slot machines and 100 table games, restaurants and an event center for meetings, conferences, entertainment and other functions.

NewBedfordcasinorenderingarchitectsllpA

NewBedford casino rendering

A Foxwoods project in New Bedford, developed by the New York-based firm KG Urban Enterprises, is also potentially in the running, as is a Somerset casino being developed by a group called Crossroads Massachusetts. State regulators will review personal, financial and criminal records on those developers at a later date.  The business group looking to build a casino in New Bedford told Massachusetts gambling regulators that it has the money to move forward with its plans for the Whaling City should it win a state license.  Somerset has asked for an extension.

The Brockton Fairgrounds is the largest single parcel of land (45 acres), under the control of one ownership entity, and would generate the least surface traffic in residential neighborhoods, that is available for redevelopment in Brockton.  There are no other locations of this size in the immediate region.  Also considered a plus is its location, just off of Route 24, providing easy access to the largest potential gaming market in southeast New England, through connections to I 93, Rte. 128/I 94, and the Mass Pike.

The $650 million project has caught Brockton largely by surprise. City officials have digested a multi-million dollar host agreement and moved to put the casino on the ballot. Anti-casino sentiment rose weeks ago due to it’s proximity to the Brockton High School / Middle School Campus close by and Rush Gaming’s history of under-aged gambling at it’s Pittsburg casino.  Rush Gaming is the developer for the proposed casino in Brockton.

That’s all for now until the people of Brockton vote yea or nay.

Binbin