State Gaming Commission Rejects Latest Attempt to License Brockton Casinos

MASHPEE – The Massachusetts Gaming Commission issued their second public rejection, by a 3 to 1 vote, of the project proposed by Massachusetts Gaming and Entertainment (MG&E), and its chairman Neil Bluhm.

MG&E, a subsidiary of Bluhm’s Rush Street Gaming, had previously proposed a $677 million resort casino at the Brockton Fairgrounds, but was soundly rejected by the Gaming Commission in 2016 by a vote of 4 to 1.

The Commission’s latest vote, issued last week, effectively doubled down on its prior rejection of Blum’s proposal by dismissing MG&E’s demand for an automatic casino license contrary to existing law.

The commission confirmed that it had the authority to reconsider Bluhm’s project, but made it clear there are not “sufficient grounds” to grant any such reconsideration for Bluhm.

In response to his second public rejection, Bluhm said he was walking away from Brockton.

“I can’t hang around, I’ve been doing this for more than five years,” he said.

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell said Bluhm’s frustration was ironic.

“With two flat out rejections of Neil Bluhm by the Commission the reality is pretty clear that Bluhm has not been honest with the people of Brockton and has no real ties to our Commonwealth,” said Cromwell.

Steve Crosby, the former Chairman of the Commission said back in 2016 that Bluhm’s proposal for a casino is a school parking lot had “a downside of actually undercutting economic development rather than lifting economic development.”

“From the moment Bluhm arrived in Massachusetts he has done nothing but subject Southeastern Massachusetts to constant delay preventing Region C from benefiting from the economic and job creation that the tribe’s reservation in Taunton would otherwise already be brining to the area,” said Cromwell.

Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye said he understood the tribe’s frustration.

“The tribe is an important part of our community and our history, and they deserve our respect.”

Tribal Vice-Chair Jessie Little Doe Baird said it wasn’t just about casinos.

“For us this is not about casinos, it’s about our tribe having the federally-reserved ancestral homelands it deserves and which is so unconscionably long overdue.”

In 2015, the federal government declared 150 acres of land in Mashpee and 170 acres of land in Taunton as the Tribe’s initial reservation, on which the Tribe can exercise its full tribal sovereignty rights.

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