Leominster Supporters React As Plainville Takes Slots Casino License

Gaming Board to award first casino license

A tough loss Thursday for Leominster. A proposed slots casino in the north-central Massachusetts city was narrowly beat out by a proposal in Plainville for the state’s first and only slots license. Two of the five commissioners on the state gaming board supported Leominster’s losing bid, including chair Steve Crosby, who advocated for Leominster just before the vote that put Plainville in position to take the license.

“As we approach the vote, I have a tiny bit of a sick feeling that we’re missing a big opportunity for an important part of the state that could’ve really been something unique, and something special,” said Crosby.

Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella was at the hearing. He says he was discouraged and disappointed by the vote, but not disillusioned.

“We’ll regroup,” Mazzarella said. “We have a lot of good land right off the highway exactly where they were going to go, but I was extremely impressed that two of the members fought right to the end. Here we are, they just took the vote, and they were fighting right up to the last minute.”

Penn National, which proposed the slots parlor for Plainville, must still agree to several conditions laid out by the gaming commission. If they accept, the panel will hold a final vote on Friday to officially award the slots license.