Kraft, Wynn make public casino pitch in MA
December 6, 2011
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Steve Wynn made a joint appearance yesterday in an effort to spell out plans for a proposed casino in Foxborough and address concerns about local impacts.
The casino, which would be developed on land Kraft owns across from the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, would not exceed the height of the 200-foot-tall structure and would contain low- to midrise buildings, said Wynn. While it would be a full-scale casino resort with a luxury hotel, retail, restaurants and meeting space, it won’t look anything like the numerous megaresort projects Wynn has built on the Las Vegas Strip. “What is appropriate for Las Vegas would be completely out of scale and inappropriate in Massachusetts,’’ he said.
Kraft has previously considered developing an office park for biomedical and technology companies at the site. He sees the casino as the best way to leverage the site’s job creating potential. “We see this as a destination resort that will attract people from all over America and all over the world that will want to come here and have conventions and have meeting spaces and have a good time,’’ Kraft said. “Visitors would leave a lot of revenue here that will spill over to both Foxborough and the surrounding towns.’’
The project faces several hurdles. Under the terms of the Massachusetts gaming law, any casino must receive local approval. A zoning change passed by a two-thirds majority is required for a casino to be developed on the proposed site, and such language was rejected by Foxborough voters just last month. Opponents have been mobilizing their forces. A handful of local protestors gathered outside the stadium yesterday, and a larger protest was held over the weekend. Further, as an NFL owner, Kraft is prohibited from owning any portion of the casino, but his interest would be limited to receiving lease income for the land. Such an arrangement might require NFL approval.
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