Plainridge Racecourse became on Monday the fourth casino applicant to complete negotiations with its host community, reaching a deal for a slot machine parlor that would pay the town of Plainville more than $4 million the first year the facility is open, according to a statement from the track.
“This process took time and was not easy, but we see this agreement as a solid and fair product as a result,” Plainridge president John Grogan, a member of the racetrack’s negotiating team, said in a statement. Plainville selectmen approved the deal with the track on a 3-to-0 vote Monday evening, according to Plainridge. Voters will have their say on the project in a referendum, expected in September.
Plainridge, at the junction of Route 1 and Interstate 495, is one of four applicants seeking the state’s sole slot parlor license, which will permit up to 1,250 slot machines. The state’s 2011 gambling law also authorizes up to three resort casinos, no more than one in each of three regions of the state.
Under the agreement negotiated by the track, Plainridge would guarantee the town $2.8 million a year during the first five years of operations, Plainridge said. Over the following five years, the agreement calls for a payment to the town of 1.5 percent of gross gambling revenue, which increases to 2 percent after 10 years of operation.
‘This process took time and was not easy, but we see this agreement as a solid and fair product as a result.’
Town negotiators and Plainridge officials have agreed on projections of approximately $200 million in revenue in the first year. The agreement also calls for Plainridge to pay commercial property taxes guaranteed to be $1.5 million in the first year, growing by 2.5 percent annually.
One of the track’s competitors for the license, The Cordish Cos. of Maryland, is pitching a slot parlor in Leominster, near the junction of Route 2 and Interstate 190 in the north central Massachusetts community, a company official confirmed Monday.
Cordish, a developer of Hard Rock casinos in Florida and the Maryland Live! Casino outside Baltimore, was scheduled to brief Leominster officials Monday evening on plans for the $200 million project, said Joe Weinberg, Cordish managing partner.
Cordish has long been interested in the northern half of the state and has unsuccessfully proposed a slot parlor in Boxborough and in Salisbury. Cordish prefers a northern location in part to be far from resort casino projects planned for Greater Boston and a tribal casino proposal in Taunton.
The stakes are rising for Cordish to find a community to embrace its plans. To meet deadlines set by the state gambling commission, Cordish needs to strike a deal with a host community in the next several weeks. A Cordish project in Leominster would include a performance venue, restaurants, and other amenities, said Weinberg.
The other applicants for the slots license are Raynham Park, which has a deal with Raynham officials, and Rush Street Gaming, which has not announced a new site after failing to strike a deal with Worcester officials. Wynn Resorts, proposing a resort casino in Everett, and MGM, which wants to build a gambling resort in Springfield, have completed their negotiations with those communities.
by Mark ARSENAULT (reprinted with permission by The Boston Globe)