SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 23, 2013

Mall slots parlor eyed

Proposal calls for 1,250 machines in Danvers

(Continued)

PPE’s application does not disclose which type of gaming license it is seeking, a resort casino or slots parlor, nor does it say in what region it might be eyeing a project. Investigators are reviewing the applications, and they are not public records, Driscoll said.

According to The Cordish Companies website, its affiliate Power Plant Entertainment LLC developed two Hard Rock-themed hotels and casinos in Hollywood and Tampa, Fla. It is also building a $500 million casino in Indianapolis and has been selected by the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin to develop a $750 million resort casino in New York. The company opened the Maryland Live! Casino this past June.

Spokeswoman Ashley Miller sent in a statement that said PPE Casino Resorts is “still evaluating several excellent sites within the state and deciding between the category 1 and 2 licenses.”

“Danvers is one of the locations they are looking at,” Selectman Dan Bennett said.

The proposal would require a 50,000-square-foot addition to the former 47,000-square-foot location of the Sports Authority at the back of the mall, Bennett said.

A spokesman for the mall’s owner declined comment yesterday.

“Simon Property Group does not comment on leasing negotiations of Simon Malls,” said Les Morris, director of public relations.

The Gaming Commission says preliminary investigations of applicants could take up to six months, and once a casino or slots parlor application passes muster, “host communities may hold their local referendum, which is required in order for an applicant to submit a Phase 2 application,” Driscoll said.

Phase 1 of the application process looks at an applicant’s finances and integrity, while Phase 2 “is the site-specific plan and is not yet required of applicants,” Driscoll said.

The commission would like to award the single slots license by this fall.

Bennett said it does not make sense to locate a casino in Danvers if one is approved at Suffolk Downs. Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, whose long list of partners includes Caesars Entertainment, is proposing a resort casino at the East Boston horse track. There are two other proposals in Greater Boston, including one by casino developer Steve Wynn in Everett and one by Crossroads Massachusetts in Milford.

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