Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

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July 25, 2013

High-stakes battle brewing; Border casino proposal raising quick concerns

Border casino proposal raising quick concerns

(Continued)

Eric Schippers, senior vice president of public affairs for Penn National, said the end goal for his company is to have the support of the host community if and when the steel hits the ground. Therefore, becoming an asset to a community is the company’s primary goal in the planning stages, he said.

“We view this as a partnership with a community, so one of the things we’re doing in addition to our education efforts is trying to address concerns,” he said.

“But, ultimately, we’re seeking a partner with this as well, and the state’s interest is in awarding this to a community that values this type of project.”

AT A GLANCE

Hollywood Casino Tewksbury

WHAT IS IT: A $200 million, slots-only parlor with 1,250 machines, supported by amenities like restaurants, entertainment and a hotel. It is proposed by Penn National Gaming, based in Pennsylvania.

WHERE WILL IT GO: If approved, the facility would be built at 300 Ames Pond Drive, a 30-acre lot off Route 133 in Tewksbury, just south of the Route 495 interchange on the Andover town line.

WHEN WILL IT BE VOTED: Two votes face the project in Tewksbury. A Special Town Meeting to rezone the land, requiring a two-thirds vote, will be held Aug. 20. A townwide ballot vote to approve the casino is set for Sept. 21.

WHO ELSE WANTS A LICENSE: Under new state gaming laws, only one slots-only license is up for grabs. Penn National is one of five companies trying to get through the door. The other four proposals are Rush Street Gaming in Millbury, Cordish Companies in Leominster, Raynham Park in Raynham and Plain Ridge Race Course in Plainville.

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