Location of proposed Fall River casino revealed - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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Location of proposed Fall River casino revealed

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

mcurtis@abc6.com

The sign at the "New Harbor Mall" in Fall River says, "Prime space for lease" and they aren't kidding. The high-vacancy mall with 30 acres of land has been sold to Foxwoods, with the goal of making it a casino. Like Twin River casino, it would have table games and slots. Some locals are thrilled. 

"I'll be here every time I get my retirement money. I'm on medical retirement." Q: So you like to gamble? "A little bit!"  said Bob Fortin, a gambler from Fall River. 

The shopping mall used to feature a Wal–Mart, but it closed. And K–Mart's lease is not being renewed, according to the Mayor. He supports the casino. 

"This will create 3 to 5 thousand jobs for the people of Fall River and add millions of dollars in additional revenue for our community; revenue that will be allocated for issues such as public safety as well as for education," said Mayor Will Flanagan of Fall River. 

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "This proposed casino for Fall River is hardly a done deal. Voters will have to say 'up or down' at the ballot box and then it goes before the state gaming commission."

Voters we spoke with were split, with some seeing a potential economic boost. 

"I would definitely support it, you know what I mean. It would create jobs. I think it would bring revenue to the town," said casino supporter Aaron Monteiro of Fall River. 

But critics note the nearby neighborhoods and highway.

"It's already noisy as it is. With more traffic it's going to be very hard to get to any place that you want if the casino gets built here," said casino opponent Maria Monte of Fall River.

 The casino vote will likely be in May or June.

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