Foxwoods Milford Project Moves One Step Further with Background Clearance
Foxwoods might be sighing a breath of relief this weekend, with news coming that its Milford, Massachusetts casino plan has moved one step closer to becoming a reality now that the company has cleared a background check performed by state gambling regulators.
Meeting suitability requirements is a major step in gaining licensing approval from Massachusetts gaming officials, whose process is reported to be the most stringent in the nation.
Must-pass public referendum slated for this Tuesday
Massachusetts passed legislation in 2011 that expands land-based casino gambling in the state, motivated in large part – as much of the casino proliferation that takes place in the United States is – by competition with neighboring states for gambling revenue.
The state will be issuing three licenses in early 2014; two for Las Vegas-style resort casinos in April with a slots-only license expected in January. The two resort-style casinos will be located in the greater Boston area as well as in the western portion of Massachusetts.
Before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission makes final determinations, all applicants must win a public vote in the city or cities to be impacted both by the construction of the new casino and its ongoing presence in the area. The Foxwoods vote is scheduled for this Tuesday, so the suitability clearance came not a moment too soon for the company, long noted for its famous Connecticut casino property.
Foxwoods project needs to raise cash, say regulators
Despite giving the go ahead to Foxwoods, Massachusetts gaming officials said that the project needs to raise cash. According to the Boston Globe, a five person panel told Foxwoods to “fill a hole in its financing with a new partner who can also pass the state background investigation.”
Foxwoods immediately announced that it was doing just that, saying that it has partnered with Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc., a company that was once part of gaming company Penn National.
“We’re pleased GLPI is interested in financing our project as we work to bring the best possible resort casino to Milford and the Commonwealth. We’re confident that GLPI’s financial support will help us bring our project to fruition, providing great financial stability in addition to social and economic benefits to the local community,” said Foxwoods CEO and President Scott Butera.
Background check tanked Caesars in the state
Though the paper said that polling data was unavailable ahead of Tuesday’s vote, it is expected that Milford residents will turn out in droves to voice their opinion on the proposed casino, which Foxwoods says on its web site “will be a luxurious resort in Milford that fits within the community and is representative of the design and architecture of a New England resort.”
So far Foxwoods has already had better luck than has Caesars. That company was forced out of Massachusetts after regulators warned that Caesars was likely to be deemed unsuitable to operate in the Bay State due to possible organized crime connections linked to an investor in its Nevada Gansevoort Hotel project.
As a result of Caesars’ sudden exit from its proposed East Boston casino, its partner in the project, historic racetrack Suffolk Downs, the would-be site of the casino, lost its November 5 public referendum.