PALMER, Mass. (WGGB) — Mohegan Sun Massachusetts clears a major hurdle in its bid to win a casino license in Western Massachusetts.
By a 5-to-0 vote, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission approves Mohegan Sun’s initial application for a casino license.
The first phase of the application included a background check on the company’s finances and ethics.
Mohegan Sun is proposing to build a $1 billion casino resort complex on 150 acres of land off the Massachusetts Turnpike exit in Palmer.
Supporters of the Palmer casino are excited about the gaming commission’s vote.
“I think it’s a very strong first step for Mohegan Sun. Clearly, the commission feels they are a viable competitor in Western Mass.,” says Palmer Town Councilor Paul Burns.
Jennifer Baruffaldi, spokesperson for Citizens for Jobs and Growth in Palmer, is pleased by the vote. “I always thought that Mohegan Sun from the research I’ve done, they are very high on the integrity ladder, so I wasn’t really surprised but very excited and happy to see they’re going to the second round,” she adds.
Mohegan Sun has had its eye on Palmer for some time. Those pushing for the casino feel that helps the company’s chances.
“They’ve been in our community for almost five years now. They’ve been understanding us and getting to know our community,” explains Elaine Boone, Spokesperson for Yes for Palmer Campaign.
Now that Mohegan Sun passes the first stage of the application process, it moves on to the final stage, which will be contingent upon voter approval of the voter referendum on November 5.