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Gaming Commission awards first casino license

Plainville wins state's sole slot license - Harness racing, simulcast betting, 1,250 slot machines plus Doug Flutie’s Sports Pub
Mass. slots a 20-minute drive from Twin Rivers Casino.

STATE APPROVES SLOTS-ONLY CASINO IN PLAINVILLE

Harness racing, simulcast betting plus 1,250 slot machines

You might be forgiven to think the Massachusetts Gaming Commission was aiming at the nearest out-of-state casino when they awarded their only slot casino license to a former harness racetrack in Plainville which is about as close to the Rhode Island casino as you can get and still be in the Bay State.

Plainville, Massachusetts is right up against the Rhode Island state-line, and a new slots parlor/casino called Plainridge Park there should pose great competition to Twin Rivers Casino in Lincoln, RI only 12 miles and a 20 minute drive to the west.

Commissioners split 3-2

Yesterday a divided Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted to issue the first license under the state's 2011 expanding gambling law, voting 3-2 for a slots-only casino in the town of Plainville. Voting in favor of the Plainville proposal at the intersection of Route 1 and Interstate 495 were commissioners Enrique Zuniga, Bruce Stebbins and Gayle Cameron while commission chairman Stephen Crosby and James McHugh voted for the Leominster proposal.

Raynham Park, received no votes.

The developers behind the proposal, Penn National Gaming, immediately said they do not see any major areas of concern with conditions sought by the commission on the license.

A town of 8,264 population, Plainville is part of the Providence metropolitan area. It's the third youngest town in the state, and became separate from Wrenham in 1905.

Plainridge Park Casino to employ 120, feature Doug Flutie Sports Bar

About 120 employees currently work at Plainridge Park, a harness racing facility that has proposed a $225 million gaming operation they plan to call Plainridge Park Casino. According to Penn National, the 106,000 square foot facility will feature live harness racing and simulcast betting along with 1,250 slot machines, an upscale restaurant, a four-venue food court, and the Doug Flutie Sports Bar.

See a larger version of the map below or click here.

The Plainville proposal prevailed over slots proposals offered by developers in Raynham and Leominster. "We want to acknowledge our fellow applicants in this race who put forth very competitive proposals and, as we know, a lot of time, energy and resources into their applications," Penn National Gaming CEO Tim Wilmott said in a statement.

The commission conditioned the license on acceptance of 18 licensing conditions and asked Penn to confirm its acceptance of the conditions during a meeting Friiday in Boston at 9:30 a.m., when a final vote to award the license is scheduled.

What will be there:

Plainridge Park Casino will feature a$225 million dollar integrated racing and gaming facility that will include:

  • The only live harness-racing track in Massachusetts.
  • Football legend Doug Flutie’s first restaurant, Flutie’s Sports Pub.
  • 1,250 of the latest slot machines, video poker, video blackjack, and more.
  • Upscale casual restaurant and four-venue food court.
  • Entertainment lounge bar featuring local and regional bands.
  • 1,620 structured and surface parking spaces.
  • Seasonal entertainment – food and wine festivals, simulated game shows, and more.

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