PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) – Mohegan CEO Mitchell Etess said he’s extremely disappointed to lose the casino competition in the eastern part of the state, but Palmer residents 22News spoke with weren’t surprised that Mohegan lost.
On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission rejected Mohegan Sun’s Revere casino proposal and awarded the Boston-area gaming license to Wynn Resorts. A second defeat in one year for Mohegan Sun. But Mohegan’s loss came as no surprise in Palmer.
About a year ago, November 2013, Mohegan Sun lost the casino referendum in Palmer. Shortly after that election, Mohegan moved out of its Main St. office, formed a new partnership with Suffolk Downs and drafted a new casino plan for Revere.
Former Town Councilor Paul Burns told 22News, “There was no significant contribution ahead of time. You look at what MGM has done, what Hollywood Casino did for West Springfield, Mohegan Sun just fails in every respect when you stack them up against other entities.”
Jennifer Baruffaldi said, “I do believe in the end that Mohegan Sun is protecting their interest with their Connecticut entity. They never meant to develop anything in Palmer.”
Casino opponent Ted Steger told 22News Mohegan’s quick departure from Palmer is another reason why he’ll vote to repeal the state gambling law. He said, “What we saw in Palmer is another example of the casino industry not living up to its promises. We have a dedicated group of volunteers and we’re ready to win in November.”
In November, voting “Yes” on Question 3 will repeal the state gambling law. Voting “No” will allow MGM, Penn National and Wynn to eventually open casinos here in Massachusetts.