Worth the Wait? Palmer Cuts a Deal with Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun and the town of Palmer say they have a deal. They’re vying for the single casino license slated for Western Massachusetts.

Officials in Springfield locked up an agreement with MGM in May. West Springfield and Hard Rock reached a deal in July. And after weeks of haggling, Mohegan Sun and Palmer town manager Charlie Blanchard get their turn this Thursday.

“We’re ready to put our signatures on it and then present it to the Palmer Town Council for ratification,” Blanchard says.

If all goes as planned, residents of Palmer will vote on the deal in November or early December.

Agreements like this tend to include millions in payments and investment from the casino for its host community and surrounding towns. But Blanchard refused to release numbers yet.

“I don’t know what people’s expectations are, but I think we’ve fairly addressed the issues that require mitigation that were identified in the various studies that were completed,” he says.

On the same day as this news from a competitor, Hard Rock had an announcement of its own. The company says that earlier this year West Springfield voters disapproved of a casino in the town by a double-digit margin. (It declined to provide specific numbers from that first poll.) It now claims support from 50 percent of those surveyed.

Actual ballots are cast on the West Springfield proposal on September 10th.