I find it somewhat ironic that at a time when the newly formed Gaming Commission is ramping up for the not too distant time when they will receive applications for the three resort casinos and one slot parlor, that a few of the largest players in the industry have expressed no interest in pursuing a license, or have faded away. Massachusetts native and gaming icon Sheldon Adelson recently said that three licenses would “water down” the attraction of his Las Vegas Sands Corp. in pursuing a license here, and he has no interest. MGM Resorts unceremoniously pulled out of their Brimfield, MA bid, reportedly over the time it would take to gain approval for a direct access to the proposed site via the MA Pike (though they claim to be looking elsewhere in Western MA), and Steve Wynn has apparently pulled out of the Foxboro scene where his overtures to the town have been rebuked. So where does that leave us? Back where we started, with the Suffolk Downs/Caesar’s Entertainment proposal the front runner for the Eastern license, the Mashpee Wampanoag’s the front runner for the South Eastern zone license in Taunton (with a recent offer of $33 million to the town up front and $13 million guaranteed annually), and though still a potentially more competitive zone, the Mohegan Sun Palmer project the front runner in the West….unless the big boys are lying in the weeds.
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