The gambling environment in New England will only get more crowded, Cummings said.
Rhode Island recently voted to expand gambling beyond just slots at Twin Rivers; New Hampshire is considering legalizing casino gambling at Rockingham Park; and Connecticut’s Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos continue to attract Bay Staters who are estimated to spend about $1 billion a year gambling.
Cummings said the decision to expand gambling in Massachusetts was driven by the desire to keep more of that money home.
Town Administrator Joseph Fernandes said the consultants’ work, including a series of hearings, should be wrapped up within the two months he figures that Plainville has to hash out a host community agreement with Plainridge.
The Gaming Commission has said the Class 2 license will be issued as early as September, a time frame that has Fernandes feeling a bit rushed. By law, applicants must have host community agreements not only in place but also approved by referendum before the commission can hold a hearing on the application in the host community.
The agreement must be negotiated and posted publicly 60 days prior to the vote, which now is tentatively scheduled to coincide with the senatorial election June 25.
“As far ahead in the process as Plainville and Plainridge are, we are struggling to meet this time frame. The next closest town is Raynham and they haven’t hired a consultant yet,” Fernandes said. “I’m not sure how anyone else plans to get a project through by September first.”
Jose Martinez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.