WAREHAM – The Notos Group and local officials met with lawmakers on Beacon Hill this week to propose a new bill that would allow the Massachusetts Gaming Commission the ability to issue another casino license or a slots parlor license in the state’s southeastern region.
Currently, the state has one slots parlor license left to issue in accordance with the 2011 Expanded Gaming Act.
If passed, the bill would allow developers, the Notos Group, to open a $300 million horse track and slots parlor in Wareham.
According to CBS Boston, Senator Marc Pacheco made clear during the meeting that the bill was nothing more than a “self-serving” attempt by the developers to gain special treatment for their horse track.
The bill was officially filed by Rep. Susan Williams Gifford of Wareham. She did not attend the meeting on Tuesday.
“We believe that our proposal is the ideal size for Southeastern Massachusetts, but our only goal in supporting Rep. Gifford’s bill is to be able to compete. The legislation does not favor any specific project or developer,” Thomas O’Connell, the founder of Notos Group, said.
Also for the Wareham slots and horse track was Wareham Town Administrator Derek Sullivan and Richard Swenson of the Wareham Redevelopment Authority. Both believe Wareham could benefit immensely from the horse track.
“We believe that Region C, and in this case Wareham, deserves the opportunity to put forth a proposal that is the right fit for the region, one that will succeed and one that will be built,” Sullivan said.
Adding, “Wareham deserves the opportunity because such a project would be transformative for our economically disadvantaged community.”
Meanwhile, Senator Marc Pacheco wants to maintain the initial 2011 vision for the state of Massachusetts when it comes to gaming as well as maintain equality, as confirmed by The Cape Cod Times.
“I’m all in favor of looking at other options for gaming once we complete the authorization that we’ve already passed. If not, then what we would be doing is helping people that are going to give us testimony that are very self-serving, they’re basically coming to this committee and to the Legislature and saying, ‘take care of me, take care of my deal. When you take care of my deal, we’ll be OK,’ ” Pacheco said. “I say let us not corrupt the process, let the process play out.”