BOSTON (WWLP) – Penn National Gaming has been awarded the state’s first gaming license.
The company, which once proposed a casino in Springfield’s North End, will operate a slots parlor in the town of Plainville.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted Friday morning 5-0 to approve Penn National’s license, one day after they selected the Plainville proposal over rival plans for slots parlors in Leominster and Raynham.
Penn National abandoned their plans for a Springfield casino in April of last year, after Mayor Domenic Sarno decided to have the city partner with rival MGM in its quest for the sole resort casino license for Western Massachusetts .
The slots parlor will be located at the site of the Plainridge Racecourse, a harness racing track, and will be called the Plainridge Park Casino. The town is very close to the Rhode Island state line, and just 12 miles from Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I. One objective is to keep Massachusetts gamblers in Massachusetts.
“Our consultants, who are very familiar with the economics of gaming, felt that this was well strategically positioned to pull money back. If it’s a nice facility and its more convenient, that’s where people will go.” Gaming Commission Chair Stephen Crosby said.
“There’s a lot of Massachusetts traffic going into Providence to the Twin Rivers facility, and we’re going to offer a much more convenient location for those slots players. I think it’s going to allow Massachusetts dollars to stay within the Commonwealth,” Penn National Gaming President and CEO Tim Suffish said.
Penn National believes it can open its slots parlor next Spring.
Plainville is a small town of about 8,000 people at the southwestern corner of Norfolk County. In addition to Cumberland, Rhode Island, it neighbors Wrentham, Foxborough, and North Attleborough, Mass.