BOSTON (WWLP) - Mohegan Sun has cleared an important vote with the group that will ultimately decide where the state's casinos will be located. During a meeting on Thursday morning, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission unanimously voted that the Connecticut-based casino company is "suitable" to develop a nearly $1 billion resort casino in Palmer.
Casino applicants must pass a two-step process to get a casino license. Step 1 is suitability, where they must undergo backgrounds checks, integrity investigations, and show that they are financially stable. Mohegan Sun will have to pass a townwide referendum vote in Palmer to move on to the second step, in which they can submit a casino site proposal to the Gaming Commission for consideration.
But for now, they're pleased that they've cleared this first crucial hurdle, and that's very good news for Mohegan Sun CEO Mitchell Etess, who was at the meeting Thursday.
"It's meaningful, I think to us, we're just happy to be the first category one to be suitable. It sounds like a landmark place to be, and it clears the way now to move on to the next phase," Etess said.
A rally will be held Thursday at Crossroads Pavilion in Palmer in support of the Mohegan Sun casino development.
A similar hearing and Gaming Commission vote for MGM Springfield is scheduled for later this fall.