Mashpee Tribe Reveals Updated Casino Design; Construction Timeline

PHOTO COURTESY: Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

PHOTO COURTESY: Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

TAUNTON – The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe says it plans to open a resort casino in Taunton, nearly one year earlier than rivals Wynn and MGM.

The tribe made the announcement and revealed updated casino designs Monday ahead of a planned April 5 groundbreaking.

The $500 million First Light Casino, which the tribe is developing along with Malaysia-based Genting Group, is proposed in four phases.

Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell said the total investment into the project will reach $1 billion.

Casino - 2By next summer, the first phase — the casino, restaurants, entertainment and retail offerings — should be open. Other phases, such as three proposed hotels, a parking garage and a water park, will be built out through 2022, according to a tribe spokesman.

“This project will not only help sustain our tribe on the land our ancestors have lived on  for the past 12,000 years, it will also help revitalize the regional economy and provide up to $2 billion in revenues for the Commonwealth,” said Cromwell.

The new casino designs show two rectangular glass hotel towers, a low-slung casino building and a parking garage.

They also show a stylized wetu, a type of traditional Wampanoag home, at the casino’s main entry.

The third hotel and the water park weren’t shown in the renderings, which focused on the main complex.

Earlier designs of the project, which was first proposed in 2012, depicted a curved complex.

The casino is being developed on roughly 151 acres within an industrial park in Taunton.

“When you consider the 1,000 construction jobs and 2,600 permanent jobs this will create, as well as the millions of dollars in additional revenues it will provide, this is a watershed moment for our city. The economic multiplier effects are enormous,” said Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye.

The land was among more than 300 acres recently placed into trust for the tribe by the federal Casino - 3government, a decision that’s being challenged in court by Massachusetts Gaming and Entertainment.

The company, a subsidiary of the Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, is seeking a state gambling license for a $677 million resort casino in nearby Brockton.

The federally recognized tribe is racing to open Massachusetts’ first resort casino.

Wynn Resorts is developing a $1.7 billion casino on the Everett waterfront while MGM is building a $950 million one in Springfield.

Both of those major resorts have faced a series of setbacks and are now projected to open in late 2018, at earliest.

Plainridge Park, a more modest slot parlor and harness racing track, opened last summer in Plainville, not far from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s proposed casino.

Once all phases of construction are complete, First Light Resort and Casino will include:

  • 3,000 slot machines
  • 150 table games
  • 40 poker tables
  • Fine dining restaurants; food court with international buffett and 24-hour cafe
  • Three 15-story, 300 room luxury hotels.
  • Lounge and performance stage
  • Indoor pool
  • 9 retail stores
  • 31,000 square fool multi-purpose function room
  • 5 meeting rooms
  • Spa and water park
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