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No Casino For Brockton: Gaming Commission Denies Proposal

This article is more than 3 years old.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has decided not to award a license for a proposed commercial casino in the southeastern part of the state -- the same region where the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe recently broke ground on its own casino project.

Mass Gaming and Entertainment, a subsidiary of Rush Street Gaming, had proposed a $677 million resort casino on the Brockton Fairgrounds.

Thursday's vote was 4-1.

During a presentation on the proposal Wednesday, Commission Chairman Steve Crosby rated the project as "insufficient."

He added on Thursday: "I think it has a downside risk of actually undercutting economic development rather than lifting economic development. I can't prove that, but I don't see evidence to the contrary."

Proponents said the casino would have brought jobs and tax revenue to Brockton.

Commissioner Lloyd Macdonald provided the only vote in support of the casino at Thursday's commission meeting.

"We've got a city that desperately needs economic development," he said. "And we've got a private party that is willing to invest almost $700 million into the community."

But Commissioner Gayle Cameron said: "Although I really do value what this could mean for this city, I just think our job is to look out for the entire commonwealth and what's best."

State law allows for up to three casino licenses. The first two were granted to MGM, for a casino in Springfield, and Wynn, for a casino in Everett.

The Brockton casino would have been built roughly 16 miles from the Mashpee Wampanoag casino that's now under construction in Taunton.

In a statement, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell praised the decision.

"We have been living on this land for thousands of years and made it possible for non-Natives to establish themselves here. Historically, our people have been the recipients of a string of broken promises," Cromwell said in the statement. "Today is not one of those days."

If the state granted the Brockton casino a commercial license — allowing two casinos to operate in the region — it would have forfeited its ability to receive taxes from the planned Taunton casino.

Brockton residents approved the casino plan by just 143 votes in a referendum vote last year.

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