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Sen. Michael Brady makes the case to revive Brockton casino proposal

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Massachusetts Sen. Michael Brady asked the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to reconsider a proposal for a $677 million casino in Brockton, a project it rejected three years ago.

“The revenue that’s desperately needed for Brockton, the jobs that are desperately for Brockton,” said Brady, a Brockton Democrat. “The medical industry is doing well, but this would be an added boom to our area for the jobs.”

The commission rejected a casino bid in 2016 by Mass Gaming & Entertainment for a Region C project on the Brockton Fairgrounds, which would have sat just 20 miles from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s planned Taunton casino.

Pressed by gaming operators to reconsider the bidding process for the Region C license, the commission decided in spring 2018 to take up the issue after its new chairwoman took office. Cathy Judd-Stein had recently been appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to serve as the new chairwoman starting in February.

With the Encore Boston Harbor opening behind them, commissioners returned to the matter Thursday morning.

Judd-Stein said she was not familiar with the details surrounding the rejected casino bid. She asked for a legal analysis on the regional gaming market and other factors to determine whether the motion to reconsider a casino proposal in Brockton should move forward.

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Brockton residents voted to approve the casino in 2015 with 7,163 for the proposal and 7,020 against it. The commission’s consideration of a southeastern casino license, however, started as the Interior Department recognized the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. With that recognition, the tribe had the right to develop a federally regulated casino, and state regulators rejected the proposal for the Brockton casino.

At the time, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell praised the commission’s decision.

“We have been living on this land for thousands of years and made it possible for non-Natives to establish themselves here. Historically, our people have been the recipients of a string of broken promises. Today is not one of those days,” he said at the time.

Three years later, the tribe’s project is in limbo. The Interior Department reversed course in 2018 after a lawsuit filed by 25 Taunton residents. Lawmakers are pushing for a congressional bill that would preserve the tribe’s federal trust status.

The tribe is facing some internal turmoil amid the legislative battle. Petitions have been filed to remove three tribal leaders after allegations surfaced about the handling of the tribal financing, the Cape Code Times reported. A robocall alleged that the gaming fund is short $250 million, according to the Times.

Brady said he heard there were concerns about too many casinos being approved close to each other, but he said the state continues to lose gamblers in southern Massachusetts.

“In the south region, I still hear from people that are going to other states," said Brady, a Brockton Democrat. “They have the so-called golf and gamble trips where they rent a bus, they go down and play golf and then they have a nice lunch. They visit the casinos in the other states. We’re losing Massachusetts residents continuously to these other states.”

false State Sen. Michael Brady has license suspended under plea deal in drunken driving case Brady entered the plea the day his trial was set to begin.

Brady, a Brockton native, discussed the city’s business industry. He noted that the local shoemaker FootJoy took off for its famous golf shoe, but the company’s plant closed in 2009. The city is home to W.B. Mason, the office supply company, and has seen a boost from medical companies. Still, Brady said, the city needs more revenue so it can ween off of its dependency on state funds for transportation and education.

“I want to reiterate my strong support for this proposed Region C casino … I’d ask if you keep your open mind moving this region C,” he said.

Read more https://www.masslive.com/casinos/2019/06/sen-michael-brady-makes-the-case-to-revive-brockton-casino-proposal.html

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