- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - State gambling regulators on Wednesday approved the developers of a proposed Brockton casino, setting the stage for a referendum next week that will determine the fate of the $650 million project.

The approval means the developers are able to move forward in the competition for Massachusetts’ third and final resort casino license, which is reserved for the southeastern region of the state.

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.

Robert Kelly, a representative for the Brockton development team, said Wednesday’s vote wasn’t surprising since a majority of the individuals and entities involved in the project have been thoroughly vetted by regulators in Massachusetts and other states.

“It’s one less administrative hurdle,” Kelly said after the vote. “You can’t imagine the work involved. It’s an incredibly intrusive process. I’m completely bleached-bones. There’s nothing left to find out about me.”

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.

The development team includes Mass Gaming and Entertainment, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, and Sweeney Investments, which is an entity founded by George Carney, the owner of the Brockton Fairgrounds and the nearby simulcast betting facility Raynham Park.

Rush Street Gaming owns the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia and Rivers casinos in Pittsburgh and Des Plaines, Illinois.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission deemed the Brockton casino developers “suitable for licensure” on Wednesday after reviewing an over 70-page report compiled by their staff.

The report covered personal, financial, tax and criminal and civil litigation records for some two dozen individuals and entities associated with the project. It also briefly touched on a handful of regulatory violations at Rush Street Gaming’s three casinos, noting that many were common in the industry and not reflective of “systemic deficiencies.”

Brockton residents will vote May 12 to approve the proposed casino site and a so-called “host community agreement” that would require the developers to pay the city $3 million upfront and about $10 million a year when the casino opens its door.

Massachusetts has already issued three gambling licenses: MGM’s planned $800 million resort in Springfield, Wynn’s $1.7 billion resort in Everett and Penn National Gaming’s $250 million slot parlor in Plainville.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide