Competitors Unveil Plans for Massachusetts Casinos
Competing casino operators including MGM and Mohegan Sun have unveiled their respective plans in a bid to win a license to build the first casino in western Massachusetts.
The state of Massachusetts has approved a new gambling law that will see three licenses awarded to build casinos in the state (with one earmarked for western Massachusetts) as well as a license for a new slots parlor.
The new law saw widespread support throughout the state, which hopes to benefit by expanding its entertainment options for tourists as well as to keep gambling dollars from leaving for neighboring states that already have casinos.
MGM Resorts (operator of US casinos such as the Bellagio, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay) is the latest company to release its plans for its bid to win the license for western Massachusetts, buying 150 acres of land about 65 miles outside of Boston.
"When we decided to get actively involved in Massachusetts, we scoured the state for a location that would provide the rural setting that New Englanders want," said Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts. "The remote nature of this property, along with its proximity to the Mass Pike, is exactly what we had in mind."
The company has tentatively named the project Rolling Hills Resort and claims it will create 3,000 permanent jobs, as well as thousands of additional temporary jobs during the construction phase.
Other companies that have expressed interest in competing for the western Massachusetts casino license include Mohegan Sun, Ameristar Casinos, and Hard Rock International.
Massachusetts isn't alone as far as US states that are either looking to build new casinos or expand their existing gambling options, with Florida considering a major expansion via adding resort-style casinos to the Miami landscape.
Other states including Nevada and New Jersey have considered legislation that would set the stage for offering online casino and poker sites for state residents, with a recent ruling by the Department of Justice concerning the Wire Act applying only to sportsbetting setting the stage for some states to possibly offer intra-state online gambling by 2012.