BOSTON (AP) — A casino arms race is building in New England. Here’s a look at some recent developments in the region’s ever-changing gambling landscape:
Leading lawmakers propose up to three new casinos in the home state of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. One of the casinos could be run jointly by the two tribes. Foxwoods is also slated to open a roughly 80-store Tanger Outlets shopping complex at its flagship casino in May while Mohegan Sun announced plans this month for a second, 400-room hotel to open by 2016.
Lawmakers are again considering allowing two casinos in the state. Supporters raise the specter of new Massachusetts casinos eating into the state’s vital hospitality and tourism industries. A similar proposal fell one vote shy of passage last year.
Several proposals have been introduced this year calling for more casinos, following a recent report suggesting there are still opportunities in the state’s northern and southern extremities. The state already has two casinos, one in Bangor and one in Oxford.
MGM Resorts International is slated to break ground later this month on an $800 million resort in Springfield, just north of the Connecticut border. Penn National Gaming is set to open the Plainridge Park Casino, a 1,250-machine slot parlor at the harness racing track in Plainville, this June. Wynn Resorts has set its sights on a 2017 opening for its $1.7 billion casino for the Boston area. And gambling regulators are weighing proposals for a third Las Vegas-style casino in the southeast of the state as the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe also hopes to build their own resort casino in the region.
Twin River Casino is in the process of purchasing its in-state rival, the Newport Grand slot parlor, while also seeking the state legislature’s permission to build a 150- to 250-room hotel. The casino, located near the Massachusetts border, is a critical source of revenue for the economically struggling state.
A Republican lawmaker has filed his near-perennial proposal to open a single casino in the Green Mountain State, saying the plan could help generate revenue as the state faces a significant budget gap. Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin is opposed to casinos.
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