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MA Gaming Commission Shoots Down New Casino

Regulators Reject Proposal For Second Casino In Southeastern Region

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A proposed $677 million casino for the Brockton Fairgrounds in Brockton, Mass. was rejected by the state Gaming Commission last week.

The vote was 4-1 against the casino, which would have been built in the same Southeastern region as the $1 billion casino from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. Ground was broken for that tribal casino in April, which came after a long process involving the tribe securing reservation land.

It took the Commission two days of deliberations to reject the Brockton casino plan, which followed a years-long effort from the group behind the casino proposal, Mass Gaming & Entertainment, according to The Boston Globe.

The Commission said that the casino would face stiff competition from the already-approved tribal casino located 20 miles away, but added that the property design put forth by Mass Gaming & Entertainment was also “less than a knockout.”

Wynn Resorts, which is building one of the other two Massachusetts casinos, was actually told something similar by the Commission more than a year ago. Wynn redesigned the Boston-area casino after regulators said the previous design was too generic.

The denied Brockton casino means that the Mashpee Wampanoag, which negotiated a compact with the state, will pay 17 percent of its gaming win to the state. If the competing casino had been allowed, the tribe would have paid nothing to Massachusetts.

“We evaluated and deliberated as thoroughly and comprehensively as we possibly could," MGC Chairman Steve Crosby said. “These decisions are difficult and we acknowledge can be very disappointing for the invested participants. However in the end, the Commission has a responsibility to make a big decision in view of all considerations and that includes the best long-term interests of the Commonwealth.”

In addition to the casinos from Wynn and the Mashpee Wampanoag, MGM Resorts is in the midst of a building a nearly $1 billion casino in Springfield.