Gaming Commission Chair Criticizes Brockton Casino Design

PHOTO COURTESY: Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

Rendering of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino planned for Taunton

BROCKTON — The chairman of the state’s Gaming Commission has decried the design of a proposed casino in Brockton, calling it a “great disappointment.”

Stephen Crosby made the comments at a public hearing Wednesday.

Crosby says the casino’s design isolates it from the community and lacks strategies for urban renewal and economic development.

Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter, a longtime proponent of the casino, said the criticism was unfair and inaccurate.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe broke ground on a $1 billion casino on reservation land in Taunton, just 20 miles away, earlier this month.

The gaming commission is expected to vote Thursday on the Brockton casino, which is vying for the state’s third and final resort casino license.

The Wampanoags have said they will no longer be required to make payments to the state under its gaming compact if the commission approves another casino in the Southeastern Massachusetts.

A 2013 revenue-sharing deal obligates the tribe pay 17 percent of its annual gambling profits to the state, but only if no other casino is allowed to operate in the region.

MGM and Wynn are also racing to open resort casinos in Massachusetts but have faced delays and aren’t slated to open their facilities until late 2018, at the earliest.

Earlier this week, a state consultant suggested Massachusetts would see less gambling tax revenues if two casinos are allowed to open in its southeastern corner, near Rhode Island.

An analysis by HLT Advisory released Tuesday shows the state could see $28 million to $41 million less each year with two casinos rather than one in the region.

The analysis was presented to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Tuesday, as it opened a multi-day review on the casino for Brockton.

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