Surprise, last-minute applicant materializes before Mass. casino application deadline

An entity affiliated with principals of The Cordish Companies is a surprise last-minute entry into the state’s casino sweepstakes, paying its $400,000 application fee hours before today’s 5 p.m. deadline, according to Cordish. The company has not announced a site, and is still deciding between pursuing a license for a full casino or a slot parlor.

“We are very enthusiastic about the Massachusetts market and look forward to working with the state and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on our application,” said Joe Weinberg, managing partner, in a statement.

The company has developed Hard Rock Hotel & Casinos in Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa, Fla., and opened Maryland Live! Casino in June 2012, according to Cordish.

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Wynn Resorts and Suffolk Downs have already applied for the greater Boston resort license. Out in Western Massachusetts, MGM Resorts, Penn National Gaming, Mohegan Sun, and Hard Rock International are in competition to build a gambling resort.

Plainridge Racecourse in Plainville has applied to run a slot parlor, Raynham Park is expected to apply, and Chicago billionaire Neil Bluhm applied in greater Boston for a full casino or a slot license.

The gaming commission is expected to announce the full list of applicants at a 6 p.m. news conference.

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