Development group looking to attract casino partner to Hick-Logan site in New Bedford

The so-called Hicks-Logan site in New Bedford is back on the market as a potential casino location, with the development group in charge of the property looking for a casino partner or investors with deep pockets.

“Our first task is to attract a national gaming company and/or financial backer,” said Paul Hamel, a spokesman for South Coast Casino Corp., which controls the five properties that make up the site, in a statement. Initial discussions with possible partners are already taking place, he said.

The roughly 32.5-acre site runs along upper New Bedford Harbor. It had previously been under the control of Northeast Resorts Group, of Palmer.

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Southeastern Massachusetts had been off-limits to commercial casino developers until recently. The state’s 2011 casino law delayed commercial bidding in the region to give the Mashpee Wampanoag time to make progress on a tribal casino in Taunton. Whether or not the tribe can overcome legal obstacles to building a casino remains an open question, and in April the state gambling commission decided to open the southeast to commercial casino applicants.

The application period runs through September.

“We have our work cut out for us since the other two regions have had a lot more time to develop a site, find financial backers and fulfill all the requirements of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which will ultimately issue the licenses. I am confident that with the right partners, Hicks-Logan is the best candidate for licensing in the southeast region of the state,” said Hamel