Gaming commission awards slots license to Penn National, Plainville

boston plainridge racecourse penn national slots license plainville
A rendering of the future Plainridge Park Casino, which won the state’s only slots license in February.
Credit: Plainridge Racecourse

The state’s only slots license was awarded to a Pennsylvania company that is planning to turn Plainridge Racecourse in Plainville into a gaming center.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday voted 3 to 2 in favor of awarding Penn National Gaming the slots license. Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby and Commissioner James McHugh voted against the motion.

Penn National must still come back before the commission on Friday to accept the terms of the license.

The gaming company is planning for a $225 million facility upgrade to Plainridge Racecourse to turn it into Plainridge Park Casino. The racecourse will continue to hold harness racing once the slots parlor is built.

The gaming facility will include 1,250 slot machines and will attract about 1.8 million customers per year, according to the company. It is expected to open in September 2015.

“Simply put, the addition of our facility will make the crossroads of Norfolk and Bristol counties the destination for sport and leisure enthusiasts in the region, capturing substantial in-state and out-of-state audiences,” Penn National wrote in its license application.

In a vote last year, Plainville residents approved of a Host Community Agreement with the gaming company with 76 percent voting in favor. The agreement calls for a $100,000 per year community impact fee for Plainville in addition to $2.7 million per year in payments for the first five years. After that, the town gets a percentage of the gross gaming revenue.

The gaming commission will decide later this year which companies it will get one of the state’s multiple resort casino licenses.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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