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Eleven developers vie for casino rights in Mass.

A well-connected developer who controls a site in Milford got in under the wire with a last-minute application for the Greater Boston casino license, becoming the 11th and final contestant to join the multi-million-dollar competition for gambling rights in Massachusetts.

David Nunes, who has long been marketing his site for a casino, filed an application and the $400,000 fee minutes before today’s 5 p.m. deadline for developers to enter the contest for the eastern and western Massachusetts casinos licenses, as well as the one slot parlor license.

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That means at least three competitors will vie for what is expected to be the most lucrative casino license in the state. Nunes will compete directly with Suffolk Downs and its partner Caesars Entertainment as well as Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn, who has proposed a resort on industrial land on Mystic River in Everett.

Out in Western Massachusetts, four prominent companies—MGM Resorts, Penn National Gaming, Hard Rock International and Mohegan Sun—will duel for a single resort casino license, with projects running in cost from $600 million to more than $800 million. There are also two wildcard entries – Chicago billionaire Neil Bluhm and a corporate entity related to the Cordish Company. Both have filed an application and a fee but neither have declared a site or which license they would pursue.

Plainridge Racecourse and Raynham Park have each applied for the slot parlor license.

Commercial development for the third full casino license, in southeastern Massachusetts, is on hold to allow the Mashpee Wampanoag time to make progress on a tribal casino in Taunton.

Mark Arsenault can be reached at marsenault@globe.com.
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