Mohegan responds to Palmer questions

BOSTON (WWLP) – Mohegan Sun went before the Mass. Gaming Commission Wednesday to present its proposal for a casino in Revere, but they still have some unfinished business in Palmer.

22News traveled to Boston for the presentation to try and get some answers.

Mohegan Sun CEO Mitchell Etess explained why Revere is the perfect location for their project, pointing out its proximity to Boston’s Logan Airport.

Mohegan had originally proposed to build in Palmer until voters rejected the proposal in a referendum vote back in November.

As they attempt to move forward with a new project, 22News tried to get answers for people like Jennifer Baruffaldi of Palmer who wants to know Mohegan’s plans for the vacant land they’re still leasing there.

“Another month has gone by and we still don’t have anything in writing as to what their intentions are with that land,” said Baruffaldi.

22News Anchor Laura Hutchinson asked the question in a news conference but Mohegan Sun CEO Mitchell Etess had something else on his agenda.

“Look, honestly, today we’re not here to talk about Palmer. We just spent the last 90 minutes talking about how we’re going to do a great job in Revere,” Etess said.

After he didn’t answer our question the first time, she tried to ask again.

“In the next few months we’ll probably make some determination. We have to get through this, I really can’t give you a timeline, honestly, in the scope of everything we’re talking about right now, I’ll be glad to talk to you later, why don’t we do that?”

Etess only wanted to talk about Revere at the news conference but agreed to talk about Palmer with me privately following the event.

He says they wanted to build in Palmer and they didn’t expect the vote to go the way it did.

“I can promise everyone in Palmer, everyone in Western Massachusetts, that we have nothing more in our hearts than to win that vote and being the destination to Palmer. Instead of competing with Wynn today, we’d be competing with MGM but its not the way it came out,” Etess said.

He said they were approached by Revere after they lost in Palmer and made a business decision to move forward.

As for the future of the property in Palmer, we tried once more to get an answer.

MGM, which wants to build a resort casino in Springfield, is scheduled to present their proposal on Thursday.

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