SPRINGFIELD, MA - The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority hosted a breakfast for the
Western Massachusetts legislative delegation Friday at the Hilton Garden Inn in
Springfield to discuss their plans to build a $1 billion casino resort near Exit
8 in Palmer. The project includes slot machines, table games and a 600-room
State Rep. Todd M. Smola, R-Palmer said he needs to know more details about the
impact on Palmer. "I need to see the proposal first," he said.
"Voting on a casino for Palmer is one thing. We'll be asked to consider a gaming
expansion for the whole state."
Smola is worried that casino gambling will take revenue away from the state
lottery as it has in Connecticut. "We have the most successful lottery in the
country. Won't we just be moving money around?"
The Mohegan Sun runs the Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania. Chief operating officer
for Mohegan Sun, Jeffrey E. Hartmann, said the Pennsylvania slot machine parlors
have not hurt that state's lottery revenue.
Hartmann said the company strongly prefers a Palmer casino operates table games
and a hotel in addition to slots. He said such an operation would create more
jobs and tax revenue from its restaurants and shops.
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