The much anticipated casino referendum for the proposed $650 million resort casino for the Brockton Fairgrounds won by a close 143 votes. The Enterprise newspaper reported that approximately 32% of the city’s 44,010 voting population casted their votes to approve the multi-million dollar casino venture. According to the state’s law, local approval must be granted to obtain a casino license. The proposed casino will be a complex that is expected to include a 225 room hotel, an event center, and many restaurants set on approximately 45 acres of land. The cities of New Bedford and Somerset are also in contention with Brockton for the casino license that has been reserved for Southeastern Massachusetts.
Many of the citizens voted favorably due to the 1,500 permanent casino job opportunities and the minimum $10 million annual income that Brockton would gain if the project is approved. One of the concerns cited by citizens opposing the casino is its close proximity to the Brockton High School.
The project developer for the Brockton casino—Mass Gaming and Entertainment—had invested over $1 million in the campaign to win the approval of the citizens. However, opponents to the casino spent roughly $3,000 for their cause.
State officials have given the developers of the New Bedford casino until June 9th to secure their financial backing or their bid will not be considered. The developers have stated they are confident they can secure their financial backing by the deadline and that New Bedford will be conducting their referendum on the proposed Foxwoods casino on June 23rd. However, the developers of the Somerset do not intend to submit their application any sooner, as they have requested for an extension from the state’s gaming commission.
Considering the financials and after weighing the proposals, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will make its final decision on the much-anticipated third casino license sometime this fall. The commission has not yet determined when they will be awarding the license for the casino in the Southeast region.