After Years Of Work And Talk, Mass. Set To Award First Casino License

It was a strong day for Leominster during a hearing before casino regulators. The central Massachusetts city is among three communities vying to host a slots parlor.

Years of legislative debate, regulation writing, negotiations and referendums – and it comes down to this. Within the next two days, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will award a single license for a slots casino.

Commissioners on Wednesday wrapped up their presentations analyzing the bids. And if that public scoring is to be followed, there are two favorites – Leominster and Plainville, and one clear underdog – Raynham.

The Leominster proposal received a lot of praise from the panel’s chair, Steve Crosby.

“I would expect their [general manager] to be a major player in the north-central Mass. business community and to be a player on the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association, and so forth,” Crosby said. “And help them figure out how to raise this area up. And it’s an area that needs raising up.”

The commission will begin deliberations Thursday and, by Friday, vote for a winner.

This spring, the panel is scheduled to award licenses for two larger, resort-style casinos.