“It is resolved that the Commission hereby issues a positive determination of suitability to Mohegan Sun Massachusetts,” announced Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner James McHugh at their Thursday meeting.
Phase I required Mohegan Sun to pass various backgrounds checks on their financial stability and integrity.
“It’s a first step. It’s meaningful I think to us, we’re just happy to be the first [casino applicant] to be suitable …it sounds like a landmark place to be and it clears the way now to move on to the next phase,” said Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority CEO Mitchell Etess.
In a letter, Senator Stephen Brewer of Barre expressed concern that the Commission voted on Mohegan Sun’s suitability without sufficient notice to the public. The Commission made it clear that people can still submit written comment to them on Mohegan Sun or other casino developers.
“Any changes in circumstances, any data that people come to us with subsequent to this event will be considered,” said Mass Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby. “So this is an ongoing process and there will be multiple opportunities for people to participate.”
On November 5th, a townwide referendum vote will determine whether Mohegan Sun can develop a casino in Palmer. If they’re approved, they can move onto Phase II of the casino licensing process and submit their one billion dollar casino resort plan that includes two hotels and a water park.
Citizens for Jobs and Growth in Palmer held a rally Thursday afternoon at the Crossroads Pavilion in Palmer to celebrate and drum up local support for Mohegan Sun.