To the Editor:
Scott Van Voorhis’ recent column “Sun Setting on Mohegan” makes several inaccurate assumptions that neglect key elements of Mohegan Sun’s plan to create a destination resort casino in Palmer, Massachusetts.

First, Mohegan Sun has the longest and most robust relationship with Western Massachusetts among any of the potential operators. We’ve been a part of the community in Palmer – where we plan to build a first-class destination resort casino – for more than four years. We established a store-front office there more than three years ago, and have hosted dozens of community meetings and conducted outreach to thousands of area residents and businesses.

Second, Mohegan Sun is further along in the host community agreement process than any other potential operator in the state. We’ve been in conversations with the town of Palmer for several months on items of critical importance to the referendum and licensing process, and have provided the town with an initial $50,000 to perform studies and analysis. Altogether, Mohegan Sun has invested more than $14 million in this project to date.

Third, with respect to the $400,000 pre-application payment to the Gaming Commission, we have been explicitly clear that our completed application will be accompanied by our check for $400,000. Chairman Crosby has repeatedly expressed the importance of this pre-application payment as an opportunity for those gaming companies that have not already done so to illustrate their interest in competing for the western Massachusetts license. We are certain that all those observing the process are well aware of Mohegan Sun’s interest and intentions.

Lastly, we have more than 15 years of experience operating one of the world’s most profitable casinos – right here in New England. Our plan for Palmer represents the only proposal in Massachusetts derived from the successful and proven rural casino model that embodies the New England gaming experience, which millions of patrons have become familiar with since we first opened our doors in Connecticut. Nobody knows how to excite and entertain the Massachusetts gaming patron better than Mohegan Sun.

Mohegan Sun has the best site for a resort casino in Massachusetts and is fortunate to have an incredibly supportive host community in the town of Palmer – particularly at a time when major urban centers and other communities are far behind in the community process. There will rightly be strong competition for the Western Mass. license, but this article does readers a disservice by failing to acknowledge our depth of experience, our level of community engagement and the actual investment we have made in Massachusetts.

Signed,

Mitchell Etess
Chief Executive Officer
Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority

Sun Rising – Not Setting – On Mohegan

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 2 min
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