Cordish loses bid for slots casino in Massachusetts

February 28, 2014|By Tim Swift, The Baltimore Sun  

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission awarded Penn National the state's only slots license Friday, edging out a rival bid by Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. 

Penn National -- which operates the Hollywood Casino in Perryville in Cecil County and Charles Town Races in West Virginia -- will operate the slots parlor at the Plainridge Racecourse in Plainville, Mass., according to the gaming commission's website.

"Congratulations and welcome to Massachusetts," said commissioner Bruce Stebbins after the panel formally approved the Penn National plan Friday in Boston.

Penn's $225 million plan was selected over a bid by Cordish to open a casino in Leominster, Mass.

The commission rated Cordish's proposal very favorably, but some of commissioners including James McHugh called Cordish's proposed location "somewhat of a misfit" because the property was isolated from existing development. The commission also worried that Cordish's construction timeline -- finishing by the end of the year -- was overly optimistic.

Cordish operates Maryland's largest casino Maryland Live! in Anne Arundel County. The company is also pursuing opening a slots casino in the Philadelphia area. 

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