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The Boston Globe

Metro

2 new competitors to vie for slot-parlor license

Competition for the state’s sole slot machine parlor license is intensifying, as two more appli­cants for casino development rights have decided to pursue the slots-only facility, the state gambling commission said Tuesday.

Corporate entities backed by Chicago casino and real estate tycoon Neil Bluhm and by Maryland casino developer Cordish Co. each applied last month for a license to run a gambling business in Massachusetts, but did not say at the time if they would seek to build a slot parlor or a casino resort.

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The commission had asked the companies to each declare by Tuesday which license it would seek.

Neither firm has said yet where it intends to build. They will need to finalize sites in the coming months.

The other applicants competing for the slot-parlor license are Plainridge Racecourse in Plainville and Raynham Park in Raynham.

The state’s 2011 casino law authorizes up to three resort-style casinos, no more than one in each of three regions of the state, and one slot parlor, which can be built in any region. The casino resorts, which require a minimum investment of $500 million, will be permitted to run slot machines and Las Vegas-­style table games, such as blackjack and roulette.

The slot parlor will be limited to 1,250 machines and will have no table games. The facility will pay 49 percent of its gambling revenue to the state in taxes, nearly double the 25 percent tax on casino resorts.

However, the slot parlor will require a much lower initial invest­ment, a minimum of $125 million, and is expected to open before any of the casino resorts. The commission wants to award the slots license this fall. The first casino resort ­license will be awarded no later than early 2014, according to the commission’s estimates.

Each developer submitted a nonrefundable $400,000 fee to the gambling commission, most of which will be spent to investigate the background and financial stability of each applicant.

Mark Arsenault can be reached at marsenault@globe.com. ­Follow him on Twitter ­@bostonglobemark.
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