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Mohegan Sun CEO Discusses Palmer Casino

MOHEGAN-SUN-CASINO-CT1(AMHERST, Mass.) (WGGB)– Now that  four developers have submitted  their application fees to the state gaming commission for a Western Massachusetts casino, the effort intensifies to win a license.

Mohegan Sun wants to build a casino in Palmer off the Massachusetts Turnpike.

On Monday, Mohegan Sun submitted its 400-thousand dollar  non-refundable application fee to the gaming commission.

On Wednesday, CEO Mitchell Etess,  spoke to the Amherst area chamber of commerce.

Etess says of the four casino proposals in Western Massachusetts he feels Mohegan Sun’s is the  best,”We know what works for this part of the country, and frankly that is the rural casino model , the rural casino is what this whole bill is based on, it’s the reason this is happening in Massachusetts because the casinos in Connecticut did well ,” says Etess.

Local businesses want to hear more about how a casino could impact them says Tony Maroulis, Executive Director of the Amherst area chamber of commerce,”Here in Hampshire County we bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors a year so there is a concern among some what will this do to our downtowns, what will this do to the traditional tourism locations up in this neck of the woods,” says Maroulis.

Mohegan Sun is proposing a 600-million dollar casino complex in Palmer.

The 0ther three Western Massachusetts proposals MGM and Penn National in Springfield and Hard Rock in West Springfield fall into the 800-million dollar category.

But Etess is confident about Mohegan Sun’s  chances,”What I can tell you is the 600-million dollar number is for the casino itself, the hotel and things that traditionally go along with the casino but we believe there’s some adjacent land that our landlord also has control of that we intend to utilize and develop,” says Etess.

Development that Etess says will make Mohegan Sun a more regional destination.