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The most debated about topic in the court of public opinion this year will be the new casinos proposed for Massachusetts. Mogul Steve Wynn and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft held a joint press conference a month ago to place their bid to build a 1 Billion dollar casino and resort next to Gillette Stadium. Kraft owns the 200 acres of land the venue would be built on and Wynn has an empire of mostly successful casino ventures. Competition will come from several other areas such as Suffolk Downs. If it goes through the consequences could be dire for the economy of Connecticut.
Naturally the main concern of Connecticut locals is regarding the community, jobs, housing and possible massive loss of revenue from the long operating casinos on tribal grounds. Although the plan could pump thousands of jobs into the region which is home to over 16,000 residents of southern and western Mass the opposite could be true in central and northeastern Connecticut where the casinos are large scale employers and could affect everything from the housing market, property taxes and other revenue streams in the area. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun make about one billion dollars a year profits and pay 25% of their slot machine earnings to the state as an operating concession. The loss of even 10% (conservative estimates are higher with 70% of visitors coming from MA) of their total revenue could be devastating to the region.
Both casinos are said to be readying strategies for staying viable and profitable in the future including reorganizing and repositioning themselves from a marketing standpoint. Still, there have to be a lot of nervous employees, homeowners and others wondering what will happen. We will continue to monitor this story as it develops further.