SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 9, 2013

Slots plan still up in air

DANVERS — Maryland-based casino developer The Cordish Companies is exploring Boxborough as a site for a slots parlor, but that doesn’t mean it has made a final decision on a location.

The same company previously approached Danvers officials about putting a slots parlor at the Liberty Tree Mall.

“We have not excluded any options at this juncture,” Carmen Gonzales, director of communications for the Maryland Live! Casino, said in an email, adding that no further information was available.

Boxborough is located along Interstate 495, northwest of Boston and not far from the New Hampshire border.

“They are exploring a few communities in Massachusetts where they are going to be welcome,” said Boxborough Town Administrator Selina Shaw. The town has received no commitment from Cordish for a slots parlor proposal — “no commitments at all,” Shaw said.

Elaine Driscoll, director of communications for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, said in an email that “Cordish recently verbally relayed to the Commission that Boxborough is a community that the applicant is exploring. We have not received any official confirmation of a definitive site.”

Cordish met with Boxborough selectmen on April 22 to present “a high-level concept they would like to do,” Shaw said. This board listened to the presentation and decided it should hear from the community on whether to explore the development further. Cordish officials also met with the town’s Planning Board to discuss what zoning changes might be needed.

On Tuesday, Cordish held an informational meeting “to try to answer questions from folks,” Shaw said. She said the company was just taking stock. “They will need to decide is this something we want to pursue.”

Cordish officials have also courted Danvers and proposed the former Sports Authority location at the back of the Liberty Tree Mall for a 24-hour slots parlor with 1,250 slots. The company also operates a casino at a mall in Maryland that attracts 14 million visitors a year, according to Cordish’s website. The Maryland mall is owned by Simon Property Group, which also owns the Liberty Tree Mall.

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