July 24, 2013

Millbury Slots Plan Moves Ahead; Vote Date Set

Two Central Massachusetts communities will now vie for the state's lone slots parlor license after Millbury selectmen on Tuesday approved a host community agreement with the developer, Mass Gaming & Entertainment.

Selectmen also scheduled a town-wide referendum on the slots parlor plan for Tuesday, Sept. 24, the same date when voters in Leominster will be asked to approve plans for a slots parlor in that community.

Mass Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) turned to Millbury after it could not reach an agreement with Worcester officials on a slots parlor. It said its $200-million proposal for Millbury, which would be located on McCracken Road near the intersection of Main Street, off Route 146 and adjacent to the Shoppes at Blackstone Valley mall, will generate 400 permanent jobs for local residents, along with hundreds of construction jobs.

"We are honored to be moving forward in Millbury," said Greg Carlin, CEO of MGE. "We are confident that this development will benefit Millbury for years to come."

Under the state's 2011 gaming expansion law, voters in a host community must approve the proposal in a referendum following the signing of a host agreement. Then, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission must receive final plans before it decides where to site the slots parlor. The commission's deadline for submission of plans is Oct. 4, just 10 days after voters in Leominster and Millbury go to the polls.

Developers in three other communities – Plainville, Raynham and Tewksbury – are also competing for the slots license.

Under the terms of its agreement with Millbury, MGE said the project is expected to generate at least $3.25 million a year in property taxes and an impact fee, an amount that "will grow over time," the company said. MGE will also provide:

  • An initial payment of $500,000 when it's ready to begin construction, should the state select Millbury as the slots site, and
  • An annual payment equal to 1.25 percent of annual gross gaming revenue that exceeds $175 million.

MGE also said it would pick up the town's costs to conduct the referendum.

(Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net)

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