State Gaming board rejects Brockton casino plan

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The state Gaming Commission on Thursday declined to award a license for a commercial casino on the Brockton Fairgrounds in southeastern Massachusetts near where the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has broken ground on a resort casino of its own.

After about two and a half days of discussion and deliberation, the five-person commission chose not to offer a license to Mass Gaming & Entertainment/Rush Street Gaming, a team planning a commercial casino at the Brockton Fairgrounds.

“Bottom line, I end up feeling like this does not meet the standards that are required to make the decision,” Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby said just before voting. “I think that I come down on the side that this does not warrant an award.”

The commission voted 4-1 to deny MG&E’s application for a commercial casino license. Only Commissioner Lloyd MacDonald, who was appointed to the commission by ardent casino opponent Attorney General Maura Healey, voted to grant the license.

Of some concern in Region C — the commission’s designation for southeastern Massachusetts — was the possibility of an MG&E casino in Brockton competing with the tribe’s planned $1 billion First Light Resort and Casino in Taunton less than 20 miles from the site of the planned Brockton casino.

Without a commercial casino in the region, the tribal casino will have to pay taxes to the state. Had the commission chosen to grant a commercial license and allow both casinos to operate in the region, the state would receive no taxes from the tribal casino.

Written by Colin A. Young