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.

“We’ve never said that we will issue a license in Region C,” said Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby, saying the commission should “see what we’ve got.” He said, “I agree we should stick with the process we’re on.:

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.

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Andy Metzger

Reporter, CommonWealth magazine

About Andy Metzger

Andy Metzger joined CommonWealth Magazine as a reporter in January 2019. He has covered news in Massachusetts since 2007. For more than six years starting in May 2012 he wrote about state politics and government for the State House News Service.  At the News Service, he followed three criminal trials from opening statements to verdicts, tracked bills through the flumes and eddies of the Legislature, and sounded out the governor’s point of view on a host of issues – from the proposed Olympics bid to federal politics.

Before that, Metzger worked at the Chelmsford Independent, The Arlington Advocate, the Somerville Journal and the Cambridge Chronicle, weekly community newspapers that cover an array of local topics. Metzger graduated from UMass Boston in 2006. In addition to his written journalism, Metzger produced a work of illustrated journalism about Gov. Charlie Baker’s record regarding the MBTA. He lives in Somerville and commutes mainly by bicycle.

About Andy Metzger

Andy Metzger joined CommonWealth Magazine as a reporter in January 2019. He has covered news in Massachusetts since 2007. For more than six years starting in May 2012 he wrote about state politics and government for the State House News Service.  At the News Service, he followed three criminal trials from opening statements to verdicts, tracked bills through the flumes and eddies of the Legislature, and sounded out the governor’s point of view on a host of issues – from the proposed Olympics bid to federal politics.

Before that, Metzger worked at the Chelmsford Independent, The Arlington Advocate, the Somerville Journal and the Cambridge Chronicle, weekly community newspapers that cover an array of local topics. Metzger graduated from UMass Boston in 2006. In addition to his written journalism, Metzger produced a work of illustrated journalism about Gov. Charlie Baker’s record regarding the MBTA. He lives in Somerville and commutes mainly by bicycle.

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.”