Brockton mayor makes casino pitch
Gaming Commission: No guarantee license will be issued
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
BROCKTON MAYOR BILL CARPENTER pitched his city as a strong contender for the state’s remaining casino license on Thursday, saying it would benefit from the jobs, infrastructure improvements, and revenues that would accompany the development.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which has already awarded two resort casino licenses, affirmed its plans to continue on the licensing path for the southeastern region, even though Rush Street Gaming’s Brockton proposal is the only commercial applicant in the area designated as Region C, which consists of southeastern Massachusetts.
At the same time, commissioners who previously awarded a license to the lone western region applicant MGM Springfield, cautioned that Rush Street’s status as the only applicant does not guarantee its success.
Commissioners were surprised by the withdrawal of a proposed casino in New Bedford earlier this summer. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe faces long odds, according to critics, in obtaining the requisite federal approval that would allow for its proposed casino in Taunton.
Carpenter said his city had to lay off about 70 teachers and the influx of Rush Street revenue would allow the city to hire teachers and restore public safety positions.
The mayor estimated about 1,200 of the 1,500 permanent casino jobs would go to residents of the city where racial minorities comprise the majority of the residents.Brockton has “crumbling infrastructure” and no capital money in the budget, Carpenter said. He said a casino and the potential entertainment district that could accompany it would “transform” the image of the city.
“People would say, ‘Let’s go to Brockton tonight’ and have dinner, gamble, and maybe stay over in a hotel,” Carpenter said. “Brockton changes from a city to drive through to a city to drive to.”