Plainville awarded state’s only slot parlor license

By: Alexandra Cowley

It's official. Massachusetts' only slot parlor has been approved for Plainville. Plainville is just a short ride from Twin River, which could mean business leaving Rhode Island and heading to Massachusetts.

In a 3 to 2 vote, the Massachusetts gaming commission gave Plainville the nod for the state's only slot parlor. The license was awarded to Penn National Gaming, which will operate at the Plainridge Harness Racetrack. More than a thousand slot machines are allotted under the agreement.

Dana Mindes is thrilled about the slot parlor.

“Finally Mass is getting smart. Why send the money to Rhode Island and Connecticut for years and years,” Mindes said.

Mindes owns a horse supply company, which has taken a hit in the last decade. He hopes this new parlor, will revive harness racing.

“Thank god for the 3 commissioners that voted for us because they understand the problems racing has had,” he said.

With the parlor set to open so close to Twin River in Lincoln, it's expected to take some of its business.

The chairman of Twin River's board, John Taylor, released a statement saying they've known this day was coming.

Taylor said, “We certainly believe there could have been better locations from the regional market perspective. We have been successfully competing with two of the world's largest casinos in the country, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods in nearby Connecticut.”

While 76 percent of Plainville residents voted in favor of a slot parlor, there is a minority who worry what it may bring.

Noreen Smith said, “You hear things about people getting addicted and having their lives take a bad turn and I just worry about that in our backyard.”

This slot parlor license for Plainville is the first gambling license to be awarded since Massachusetts passed the 2011 gambling law. The law also allows for 3 resort casinos.

(C) WLNE-TV 2014