Brockton Meets Deadline For Southeastern Mass. Casino

Developers of a casino proposed for southeastern Massachusetts met a deadline Monday for filing license application materials while two other proposals hinge on whether the state Gaming Commission will grant their requests for a deadline extension.

The commission deemed Mass Gaming & Entertainment's initial application for a proposed $650 million casino and hotel for the Brockton fairgrounds "substantially complete," meaning the company has submitted the required financial and personal information needed for commission staff to conduct background checks.

Brockton residents are to vote on the casino proposal May 12.

Meanwhile, lawyers for KG Urban Enterprises and New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell asked for a 45-day extension as they continue negotiations on a Foxwoods casino. In their letter to the commission, the New York-based development company and Mitchell said they're still negotiating a host community agreement and discussing changes to the proposed casino.

The company says the changes would likely impact the project's financing, meaning it will need additional time to update potential investors and finalize financial commitments.

The commission said it would consider the request at its Thursday meeting.

KG Urban wants to build a resort casino on the site of a former NStar power plant on New Bedford's waterfront, and has an agreement with Connecticut-based Foxwoods to operate the proposed casino. Former NBA commissioner David Stern is an adviser on the project; his son, Andrew Stern, is a managing director.

KG Urban and the mayor have been in talks for months, but the project appeared all but dead in recent weeks. Mitchell has called for significant changes to the casino's layout and design that the developers have said are a "non-starter."

The developers of a casino in Somerset also have requested a deadline extension, according to the commission. It wasn't immediately clear how much more time they are seeking, a commission spokeswoman said.

Applicants in the running for the state's final resort casino license had been asked to file further information about their projects by the end of the day Monday. The commission hopes to award the southeast casino license by the fall.

The winning proposal will hold the state's final casino license. It's reserved for the southeast region.


MGM's proposed $800 million Springfield casino, which is to break ground next week, won the western region resort license. Wynn Resorts won the license for the eastern region for its $1.7 billion Boston-area development. And Penn National Gaming has a slot parlor license for a $225 million project in Plainville that's set to open in June.

In another development Monday, a state Senate committee dropped from its spending bill a House-passed amendment that could change the way the state taxes slot machine winnings.

The House plan doubles from $600 to $1,200 the threshold under which a gambler must stop playing and fill out an income tax withholding form.

Casino companies strongly support the proposed change, fearing the current limit will discourage some gamblers from visiting Massachusetts facilities. They also said it would be in line with policies in most other states and federal limits.

Senate President Stan Rosenberg did not rule out the possibility that the gambling provision could be restored as part of a final agreement with the House.

Associated Press reporter Bob Salsberg in Boston contributed to this story.

This article was originally published on March 16, 2015.


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