New racetrack and casino for Massachusetts

By William Brown Updated
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While a Massachusetts legislative considers a bill that would allow for a proposed racetrack and casino to be built in Wareham, one group seems to be solidly behind the legislation.

Calvin Ayre the South Shore Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors have provided their endorsement for House Bill 4070.

In a letter written to Representative Susan Williams-Gifford, author of the bill, South Shore Chamber President and chief executive officer Peter Forman wrote:

“We find it troubling that Southeastern Massachusetts is almost effectively blocked under current law from even considering a gaming option.

“Your legislation will enable an open and competitive process that will lead to the best possible solution for the region, one that compliments the tourism industry and the region’s economic strength.”

The bill would grant the Gaming Commission the authority to offer a slots-only licence for a business in the South Coast and Cape Cod Region.

It would also have the option to grant a full scale casino licence, but not both.

The legislation had initially been offered in October, where it was then sent to the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

They were supposed to have provided a report on their findings earlier this year, but that was delayed and a second reporting date was set.

That will now be delayed as well.

Developers are still hoping for a June 1 date to be set to grant the licence.

The Notos Group is the developer behind a planned $300 million Wareham Park project, and they have already asked the state lawmakers to support the bill.

Now, the additional endorsement of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce should carry some weight with the committee.

The chamber represents 1300 business members across a 25-community region, carrying a great deal of clout.

They describe the project as something that is “worthy of study and consideration” and have voiced their support for the Notos development group, stating that they would ensure that it was a “high-quality project” should the bill pass.

The Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce, which served Wareham, Bourne and Sandwich, has not taken any position on the casino legislation.

There is some opposition to the bill.

Senator Marc Pacheco, who represents Wareham, recently stated that the bill would change the “collective vision” of the 2011 law, which called for the design and development of three resort-style casinos and a lone slots parlour.

He is attempting to stop the bill, believing that the original strategy would “be best for our economy and creating jobs equitably in each region.”

MGM Springfield makes changes at the top

MGM Springfield has replaced two key executives in hopes of re-energising the struggling $960 million integrated casino resort.

MGM Springfield president Michael Mathis is leaving the role after six years, according to

He was named to the position and as chief executive officer in 2014, and oversaw the licencing and construction process of what became a $960 million casino complex in downtown Springfield.

“His leadership was instrumental in the successful opening of the property and the great relationships we have built with the Springfield community and our partners in New England,” MGM Resorts regional portfolio president Jorge Perez said.

Since opening in August 2018, MGM Springfield has struggled to come anywhere near its premarket gross gaming revenue forecasts.

Whether the market is oversaturated, or MGM has failed to attract gamblers to the resort, is a matter of opinion.

Along with Mathis, vice president and chief financial officer Courtney Wenleder is also departing the resort.

Mathis is assuming a new position – senior vice president of business development – in MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas corporate office.

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