It’s official. The state has given the okay to a $225 million slot machine parlor at the Plainridge Racecourse in Plainville, the first official approval in a gambling expansion authorized in 2011 that will also sprinkle as many as three resort-style casinos across the state.
Reaching a major milestone in a closely-watched, sometimes controversial process, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission today formally voted for the slot parlor proposal by Penn National Gaming. The facility could open as soon as spring 2015, Penn National said.
“Congratulations,’’ commission Chairman Stephen Crosby told Penn National’s top official, Tim Wilmott. “Welcome to Massachusetts.’’
The panel had voted 3-2 on Thursday to endorse Penn’s proposal to expand the state’s only harness racing track, at Route 1 and Interstate 495 in Plainville, creating a racino, or racetrack combined with a gambling hall. Today, after Wilmott readily agreed to conditions on the slot machine license, the panel unanimously approved the license.
Wilmott told commissioners he was heading to Plainville today as the company gets its construction underway. “I should know within a week or so when groundbreaking will be,’’ Wilmott said.
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