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Merrimack Valley

June 22, 2013

Slot parlor proposed in Salisbury

Selectmen will hear presentation Monday

SALISBURY — The topic of gambling in Salisbury will be resurrected Monday night when a representative from a Maryland company meets with the Board of Selectmen to discuss the possibility of bringing a slot machine parlor to town.

According to Selectman Fred Knowles, he’s spoken with Jeffrey Snyder, of Baltimore’s Cordish Company, about the potential of Salisbury becoming the location for the one-and-only state-approved slot machine venue, allowed by the passage of Massachusetts’ casino gambling legislation in 2011.

Three casinos are permitted by state law, but only one slot machine parlor.

Knowles believes Cordish approached local businessman Bruce Arakelian about placing a prospective development on currently unused portions of his land on Route 110 (Elm Street).

Presently the site of the Sylvan Street Grille and Vision Max theater complex, the proposed slot parlor would be built behind those existing businesses, Knowles said.

It was at the Selectmen meeting on June 10 when Arakelian requested board members read the notes taken by town planning director Lisa Pearson, when she met with the Cordish representative.

At that meeting, Town Manager Neil Harrington said he had also spoken with the individual involved, telling him to put a detailed plan in writing for selectmen to review.

Selectman Henry Richenburg told Arakelian that the board also needed a written prospectus for the topic to move forward.

As of yesterday, neither Harrington nor Knowles had received a written proposal from Cordish, but the agenda for their meeting on Monday lists a presentation by the company, and that information is expected to be supplied in time for the meeting. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Colchester Room at Town Hall.

Under state law, locating a slot parlor in a community is not an easy task, Knowles said, and there are a few companies, in addition to Cordish, seeking out communities as partners for such a venue.

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