EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

November 26, 2013

Recount confirms defeat of W. Mass. casino proposal

PALMER (AP) — A recount on Tuesday confirmed the defeat of Mohegan Sun’s bid for a resort casino in the town of Palmer, officially leaving MGM Resorts International as the only remaining applicant for the single western Massachusetts resort casino license.

The recount conducted at the town library on Tuesday showed the proposal coming up short by 94 votes out of about 5,200 cast in the Nov. 5 referendum. The original count showed a 93-vote difference.

Casino supporters had acknowledged prior to the recount that there was little hope of reversing the margin.

Mohegan Sun had already announced that it planned to seek “non-gaming” development on the 152-acre site that it leased in Palmer, and the company was also among those discussing a possible partnership with Suffolk Downs on a casino in Revere.

In a statement, Mohegan Sun said it accepted the results of the recount.

“For more than five years we were committed to Palmer and believed in our project’s ability to deliver a promising future with more than $16 million in annual revenue, thousands of new jobs, new opportunities for small business and economic development throughout the region,” the statement said.

MGM has proposed a $1 billion casino that won approval from Springfield voters in July. But the company must still clear a background check by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, with a “suitability” hearing scheduled for Dec. 9.

Mohegan Sun has not commented on discussions with Suffolk Downs.

The thoroughbred racetrack, which is seeking the eastern Massachusetts casino license, has announced plans to shift its proposed facility entirely into Revere, after voters in East Boston rejected the casino in a referendum. The commission has not yet authorized the move.

Suffolk Downs cut ties with its previous operating partner, Caesars Entertainment, after some red flags that turned up during the commission’s background check of Caesars.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
Boston and Beyond

New England News
Photos of the Week