Palmer, Mass. (WGGB) — With the competition for a casino in Western Mass. well underway, one interested developer has announced layoffs at their Connecticut location.
Mohegan Sun is laying off more than 300 employees and replacing its CEO. The layoffs are being blamed on declining revenues and a weak economy.
They made the announcement Thursday and with it has come a call for them to step up to the table and lay down the application fee to the State Gaming Commission.
Mohegan Sun wants to build a casino in Palmer and they’ve even go so far as to set up shop there already.
ABC40 News talked with residents in Palmer and they say they are still hopeful that the town will get a casino even though Mohegan Sun is laying off workers and even though it faces stiff competition from Springfield where 4 operators are looking at building a casino.
Resident Carl Williams told us, “I’m a little concerned but I think they’re just trying to regroup to build up their funds so they will be able to move in here which I’m hoping for.”
A Town Councilor in Palmer, Paul Burns, says he’s a strong supporter of a Palmer casino and feels it’s high time that Mohegan Sun put up the $400,000 application fee to the State Gaming Commission.
“I thought it was time several weeks ago. I think at the end of the day if Mohegan is going to compete in Palmer the only way to show effectively and decisively that you’re ready to come, is to step up and pay the 400 thousand dollar fee,” says Burns who went on to add, “And especially now in light of the fact they have laid off some folks it’s important to demonstrate they’re financially viable and that they’re still committed to moving forward.”
Burns also says he feels Palmer is the best site for a Western Massachusetts casino because it is the only rural casino that has been proposed.
So far, MGM is the only casino operator interested in the area who has posted the application fee of $400,000 to the State Gaming Commission.