Company renews bid to open a Brockton casino

An artist's rendering shows the casino plan that was proposed and rejected in 2016.
An artist's rendering shows the casino plan that was proposed and rejected in 2016.

Two years after state gambling regulators rejected a Brockton casino proposal backed by Rush Street Gaming, the company is formally asking for its project to be reconsidered.

In a lengthy letter dated Wednesday to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, lawyers for the Chicago-based casino company asserted that much has changed since the commission voted down the Brockton project in April 2016 and said the proposal deserves another look.

The company has asked the commission to schedule a public discussion on its request.


What to do in Southeastern Massachusetts has been a complicated question for the commission. The state casino law created one slot parlor license, awarded to Penn National Gaming for its Plainville project, and as many as three licenses for resort casinos, each in separate regions of the state.

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The Western Massachusetts license went to MGM Resorts, which plans to open its Springfield casino this summer. The Greater Boston license was awarded to Wynn Resorts, which is due to open its $2.5 billion Encore resort in Everett in 2019.

But the commission has yet to award the license designated for Southeastern Massachusetts, largely over concerns the gambling market could become oversaturated if the Mashpee Wampanoag overcome legal hurdles and open a $1 billion tribal casino in Taunton.

Tribal casinos are governed by federal law.

Two years ago, the commission voted 4 to 1 against awarding a casino license to Mass Gaming & Entertainment, the partnership between Rush Street Gaming and businessman George Carney. The company had proposed a $677 million casino at the Brockton Fairgrounds.


Commission chairman Stephen Crosby said at the time that the Brockton proposal might have been approved if not for the prospect of a Mashpee tribal casino.

A spokeswoman for the commission said Thursday that the commission’s legal department is reviewing the letter.

In their letter to the commission, lawyers for Mass Gaming & Entertainment noted that since the commission rejected the Brockton proposal, a federal judge has dealt the Mashpee plan a serious blow by ruling the federal government did not have the right to designate the tribe’s Taunton land as a sovereign reservation.

Meanwhile, Rhode Island approved the construction of a casino in Tiverton, just over the state border, and casinos in other parts of Massachusetts have moved closer to opening, leaving Southeastern Massachusetts behind, the company argued.

“MG&E and its principal owner, Rush Street Gaming LLC, are eager and ready to help reverse the course for the southeast region,” the company wrote to the Gaming Commission.

Mark Arsenault can be reached at