Sunday, January 6, 2008

Tribe Snubbed By Its Massachusetts Partners

Feather News
Updated January 10, 2008

Two of the Mohegan tribe's partners in a joint bid for a casino in western Massachusetts are now proposing a casino in the eastern part of the state that so far excludes the Mohegans from the deal.

SouthCoastToday.com reports that Massachusetts developer Leon Dragone and the Pennsylvania Real Estate Trust, partners with the Mohegans for a proposed casino in Palmer, are also now attempting to bring a casino to the Hicks-Logan neighborhood of New Bedford.

Dragone's Northeast Resorts owns options on 35 acres between Route 195 and the Acushnet River. Dragone is also partnering with Steven Norton, a casino developer and a former executive of the Sands Hotel and Casino. Dragone said they would be announcing a gaming development partner within the next few weeks.

Although some casino developers have expressed interest in New Bedford, Dragone said "we're the only ones putting our money where our mouth is in New Bedford."

In related news, the president of Springfield, Massachusetts-based Peter Pan Bus Lines has reportedly joined Dragone's Northeast Group as an investor in both the Palmer and New Bedford casino projects. Peter Picknelly also served as a member of Governor Deval Patrick's transition team in addition to running the largest privately-owned bus company in the country.