The companies competing are Rush Street Gaming, KG Urban Enterprises, Somerset on the Move, Crossroads Massachusetts and Seafan Trust according to the Mass Gaming and Entertainment Commission. All five of these groups will address the commission on Feb 5. 2015.
The applicants that are paid the $400,000 fee to begin the investigation are Mass Gaming and Entertainment, KG Urban Enterprises, and Crossroads Massachusetts putting them a bit higher on the future prospects of ownership. In addition, each applicant must pass the intensive security check that comes with the process. After that, the commission will focus on the application proposals and eventually approve one.
Many of the groups that applied already, or have operated other casinos and resorts in the past. Rush Street Gaming operates two casinos and is affiliated with Mass Gaming and Entertainment. They wanted to build a casino in Millbury Massachusetts and had to drop plans due to opposition from local citizens that did not want gambling in the area. The company is currently looking at another facility at the Brockton Fairgrounds.
KG Urban Enterprises is hoping to build a casino on the waterfront in New Bedford. The Seafan Trust Company has plans to build a $4 billion dollar casino called the Sun Moon Resort on a 500-acre location that used to be a power plant. The southeast region of Massachusetts faces many challenges for the development of casinos and gambling in the southeast, but analysts say the market is still less than saturated.
One of the problems is a slowly recovering economy. The other is competition from online casinos that operate in the same area reduces the amount of money in the local economy. That is why they are trying to make this venture a world-class resort where tourists would come from all over the USA to stay, gamble, and indulge.
The other is the stiff competition from other local casino establishments. Twin Rivers Casino is just over the state line in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Also, a tribe called Mashpee Wampangnos wanted a federal tribal reservation in Taunton Massachusetts where they want to eventually built a resort.
Recently the commission has awarded several casino development projects in local Massachusetts towns. Before the deadline four of the groups requested more time to complete the applications. The second application filing is now due on May 26. 2015. The formal review process has begun on the applications already received.
Each group that wanted the extension had to meet with the Mass Gaming and Entertainment Commission so they could evaluate each groups’ situation and the reason needed for an extension. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission was created to oversee the licensing in this part of Massachusetts, but as a relatively new organization, they operate under the same initiatives as other states commissions.
Lincoln Chaffee governor of Rhode Island is concerned about the new casino’s effect on the Newport Grand Slots and its ability to survive in the coming years. The governor stressed that Rhode Island will take a financial loss from gambling being expanded in Massachusetts. He expect that that state can suffer a $100 billion dollar loss once all the casinos in question are operational.
Gaming has seen a rise in development in Massachusetts over the last few years. These five competitors may face opposition from local residents like Massachusetts Gaming and Entertainment did just a few years ago. Their plans to build a casino in Millbury brought a storm of opposition from residents and the company decided to drop the project when they found that they were really not welcome.
“We spent time in Millbury and found local residents did not want the project to move forward said Neil Bluhm, chairman of the Mass Gaming and entertainment.” He goes on to say that they do not like to win territories aggressively but like to build a project, and staff it with the community cooperatively.
Millbury is not the only place where gaming failed to expand due to the people’s voice. When the company is chosen for southeast Massachusetts the winner may face opposition before construction begins. Only time will tell what will happen with the latest casino project will overcome the final hurdles taking gaming state-wide.