The great state of Massachusetts recently deigned to expand its gambling enterprise by issuing three resort casino licenses. Two of those permits have already been granted, one to Wynn Resorts, and the other to MGM Resorts International. Now, with just one license and less than two weeks remaining, four potential parties could bid for the final spot.
The four groups that may submit an application, along with the hefty fee of $400,000, are the Seafan Trust Corp., Somerset on the Move LLC, Mass Gaming & Entertainment, and Foxwoods. Interested parties are expected to meet soon with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to discuss their plans, which would involve the installment of a resort style casino near the border of Rhode Island, in the Fall River and New Bedford area.
The deadline for submitting a license application is swift approaching. Bids must be turned in to the commission no later than Friday, January 30, 2015. Commission spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll announced the first three groups as potential applicants, while an application from Foxwoods is mere speculation at this point.
Foxwoods, which runs a prominent tribal casino in Connecticut, is known to be interested in branching out into the Massachusetts area. However, no representative has contacted the state yet, and thus far they’ve declined any comment to the press.
The Seafan Trust Corp is based out of Brookline and headed by Kathryn Wheaton, a Native American who has revealed her intentions to establish a resort casino that would benefit Native Americans. She said the casino would be called Sun Moo Resort and would span a 500-acre lot in the southeast region of the state, but offered no other details or specific location for the casino.
Somerset on the Move LLC is hoping to build a casino in its local area that would help to offset the impending loss of revenue from recently closed power plants. They’ve identified a 100-acre area just off I-95 as the perfect breeding ground for their resort casino destination. The company is under the directional arm of David Hanlon, whose experience in the casino and gambling industry precedes him.
Hanlon spent a portion of his esteemed career as the President of Harrah’s Atlantic City, as well as the President of the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Before that, Hanlon was the President and CEO of International Game Technology, a slot machine manufacturer headquartered in Las Vegas.
Mass Gaming & Entertainment originally put in an application to run a slots parlor in the state, but since dismissed those plans. A subsidiary of Rush Street Gaming in Chicago, the company is now expected to submit a license application for a resort casino instead, but no other details have been confirmed at this point.
One previously projected bidder, Mohegan Sun, is almost certain not to take a stab at the state’s final casino license. After making an unsuccessful bid at the casino license offered in the Boston area, spokesman Cosmo Macero said, “At this point we would be cautious about extending ourselves further in Massachusetts.”
As for the two finalized casino licenses, Wynn Resorts has won its bid to develop a $1.6 billion resort on Everett’s waterfront, while MGM Resorts has plans for an $800 million resort in the Springfield area. A single slots parlor license was also awarded last year to Penn National Gaming, who has vowed to invest $225 million to install slot machines at the current Plainridge Harness Racing Track.