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Massachusetts' First Casino Set to Break Ground Friday Near RI Border

The opening of the state's sole slots-only parlor could impact casino gambling in Rhode Island.

An rendition of what the Plainridge Park Casino would look like. Photo Credit: Plainridge Park Casino
An rendition of what the Plainridge Park Casino would look like. Photo Credit: Plainridge Park Casino
By Liz Taurasi

Rhode Island is about to get some competition in the casino game.

Penn National announced this week it will break ground Friday on the $225 million Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, Massachusetts.  

Rhode Island is bracing itself to take a hit from the revenues currently generated by Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI and Newport Grand in the City by the Sea. Plainridge will be located less than a 30 minute drive from Twin River.

The Plainridge project will create 1,500 jobs and includes a 106,000-square-foot racing and gaming facility with 1,250 slot machines. There will be a food court, an “upscale-casual” restaurant, and the first-ever Doug Flutie Sports Bar.

Penn National won approval from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission late last month for its planned slots parlor in the Plainridge Racecourse site on Route 1.

Eric Schippers, senior vice president of Government Affairs for Penn National Gaming said in a press release Tuesday morning that the company is thrilled to begin construction of what he calls “this new economic engine for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Plainridge is expected to create 1,000 jobs during the construction phase, and 500 new permanent jobs once the project is completed.

“We look forward to celebrating this momentous occasion with our employees, members of the community, and local and state leaders who helped make this dream a reality,” Schippers said.

Massachusetts was granted only one slot parlor license which will allow Penn National to provide up to 1,250 slot machines but no gaming tables. Two other properties were also in consideration: Raynham Park (the former dog-racing track in Raynham) and Cordish Cos (a family owned Maryland company) which proposed a slot parlor in Leominster.

At Friday’s ceremony, Penn National is expected to share construction timelines, employment opportunities and upcoming activities.

Last September, Plainridge Racecourse owners reached a deal to sell the track to Penn National conditional on the gaming company getting the approval from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

The project also includes a harness concourse bar, multi-purpose banquet room, entertainment lounge, casino bar, 1,620 parking spaces, a 26,000-square-foot grandstand with box and reserved seats, and a 13,000-square-foot clubhouse with box seats.
Russell Archambault March 11, 2014 at 06:01 PM
Plainridge is expected to create 1,000 jobs during the construction phase, and 500 new permanent jobs once the project is completed, and 10's of thousands of poorer people. HAVE A GOOD TIME SUCKERS!

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