Study: Leominster slots-casino proposal most viable

FITCHBURG — The slots-only casino in Leominster would be most beneficial to the state because it will bring in the most revenue while minimizing cannibalization of business at the three full-gaming resort casinos planned for Massachusetts, according to a marketing study commissioned by the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.

Results of the study were announced Wednesday morning in a statement from the chamber.

The Slot License Gaming Market Comparison report was prepared by The Innovation Group, which provides consulting and management services for the gaming, entertainment and hospitality industries.

Using a drive-time-based gravity model to forecast gaming revenue for license applicants in Leominster, Plainville, and Raynham, The Innovation Group determined that Massachusetts Live! Casino would have a net incremental advantage to the commonwealth over the first 10 years of $418 million in net gaming revenue and $93 million in tax revenue compared to the proposed facility in Plainville, and $731 million in net gaming revenue and $300 million in tax revenue compared to the proposed Raynham facility.

«Given the locations of the proposed resort license applications, our research demonstrates that the Leominster facility represents a more effective distribution of the Category 2 license,» Steven M. Rittvo, chairman and CEO of The Innovation Group, said in the statement. «Plainridge and Raynham would have significant overlap with the Region C resort casino, as well as external competition from Rhode Island, whereas Leominster would be a highly self-contained market.»

The Leominster market would have the highest ratio of adults to gaming positions, or demand to supply, of the three proposed sites for the slots-only license, according to the study.

«Not only will the Leominster project maximize returns to local and state governments,» said David L. McKeehan, president of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber, «but will also maximize jobs and economic development through the Massachusetts Live! commitment to fund in excess of $1 million per year to high-tech start-up companies in the medical device industry located in the North Central region.»

The Cordish Cos. of Maryland are proposing a $215 million casino-entertainment complex on Jungle Road in Leominster that would feature 1,250 slot machines and electronic table games, restaurants, and a live entertainment venue. The project will generate about 1,200 new direct jobs and contribute more than $100 million per year in local and state tax revenue, according to Cordish.

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