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Two Known Slots Plans are Neighbors South of Boston

This week news emerged that Danvers is being eyed as a possible location for the state's only slots parlor, but what are some of the possible competitors?

Until this week, there were just two announced proposals competing for the state's sole slots parlor license that could be issued as soon as the end of the year.

Then this week, news broke that PPE Casino Resorts has inquired about the possibility of locating a 100,000 square foot, 1,200 machine slots parlor at Liberty Tree Mall.

PPE is one of just two of the 11 applicants that submitted the required $400,000 deposit to the state Gaming Commission last week without specifying whether it wants a license for a slots parlor or resort casino. The company also did not say where it planned to build it. Both details are required as part of the phase 2 application process, which is coming up later this year.

The gaming law requires a minimum investment of $125 million in a slots parlor and would require that 49 percent of the revenue be paid in taxes. The parlor would be limited to 1,250 machines.

Until now, the two closest casino proposals to Danvers were for resort casinos just north of Boston - the proposal from Caesars Entertainment at Suffolk Downs racetrack and from Las Vegas developer Steve Wynn at a former factory site in Everett. Both proposals are about 17 miles south of Liberty Tree Mall.

Given all the attention on a possible resort casino just north of Boston, North Shore residents may not have been up to speed on some of the slots parlor proposals - from Plainridge Racecourse in Plainville and Raynham Park in Raynham.

Both properties are about 50 miles south of Danvers along Route 495. Plainridge is near the intersection of Route 495 and Route 95 and Raynham is near the intersection of Route 495 and Route 24.

Both proposals are similar to Danvers in that they both plan the maximum number of slot machines under the law - 1,250 - and are located on already developed properties near the intersection of major interstates.

But in Danvers, the mall is an existing shopping center while in Plainville and Raynham there is a long history of racing and gambling on both properties.

Raynham is owned by George Carney, according to Easton Patch, a sister website to Danvers Patch. Carney has partnered with Greenwood Racing, which operates Pennsylvania's largest gambling facility, Parx Casino & Racing, on the proposal. The park currently hosts simulcasting and if granted the license would create a "racino." It was a dog racing track until it was banned by a statewide referendum.

Much like what has been revealed for the plan in Danvers, the Plainridge proposal calls for 1,250 slot machines. Right now, a 1,000-car parking garage is under construction at the track, which is an active harness racing track, according to a recent report in the Boston Globe.

In a December article in the Globe, Plainridge President Gary Piontkowski told the Globe that the plans, permitting documents and architectural drawings that had already been completed for a possible slots parlor put its plans ahead of the others.

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