Developer says Foxwoods, 2 others interested in southeast Massachusetts casino license



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BOSTON — Foxwoods gambling company is among those interested in operating a resort casino that developers hope to build on the New Bedford waterfront site of a former power plant, the development company told Massachusetts regulators Thursday.

Former NBA commissioner David Stern, an adviser to KG Urban Enterprises, said at a Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting that the company needs up to two months to complete negotiations as it bids for the state's resort casino license, reserved by state law for the southeast region.

Stern said the New York-based development firm also is in talks with two other casino operators, whom he declined to name.

"We would hope that, by the extension period, we would both have a final deal for operation management and the equity funding," Stern said. "This has been an interesting process, but we're now focused in a laser-like basis."

Foxwoods, owned by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe in Connecticut, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The company has been eyeing the southeast region casino license since Milford voters rejected its $1 billion plan in November 2013. Foxwoods initially focused on Fall River, unveiling plans for a $750 million resort on the 30-acre New Harbour Mall site. But a formal agreement between the city and the casino operator never materialized.

KG Urban wants to build a casino at the site of the former NStar plant.

The commission gave KG Urban and other applicants until March 16 to file any outstanding information, although Mass Gaming & Entertainment objected to the extension, arguing that it has met many of the application requirements while its competitors have not.

"We've got it. We're here. We're ready to go," said John Donnelly, a lawyer for the company. "Any delay is fraught with danger and uncertainty."

Mass Gaming & Entertainment, an affiliate of Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, wants to build a casino at the Brockton Fairgrounds.

Two separate applicants for the license also said Thursday they now hope to join forces on a single project. Somerset On The Move, headed by a former president of Harrah's Atlantic City operations, and Crossroads Massachusetts, an investment group that had unsuccessfully tried to bring the Foxwoods resort to Milford, requested more time to work out the details.

The commission effectively disqualified another applicant when it ruled that a $400,000 application fee was due last Friday to continue in the competition. The Brookline-based Seafan Trust, which wants to build a $4 billion casino on 500 acres, failed to meet the deadline.

The commission hopes to award the license in the fall.

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