In the world of land based slot machine games, the Plainville officials have been negotiating with the owners of the Plainridge Racecourse about when and where they will be able to introduce their slot machine games, as well as how many they will include. It now seems as though the opportunity to leave behind the online Shopping Spree slot for a day and head down to a real slot parlour will be coming sooner than expected for local residents, as the latest provision which has been inserted into the agreement will see five hundred of the slots arriving sooner than the proposed date.
The racecourse will be transformed into a racino with the introduction of one thousand two hundred and fifty slot machine games, but in order to make room for them all the operators of the track are going to have to construct a larger venue. This is going to not only cost them a lot of money, but will also take time, and they are concerned about the fact that they will not be seeing increased profits from the new agreement until they have already invested a lot of time and cash into the new venue. In return for allowing them to add five hundred slots to their existing venue early, the town is asking that they receive 1.5 per cent of the machine revenue right away, which would increase the proposed revenue figures in tax to $2.7 million for the first five years in which the slots parlour will be in operation. The inclusion of the provision seems to have come at a fortunate time; Penn National Gaming have taken over the bid now, and are offering to open a temporary gaming centre until the new one can be built, which may well be a solution which suits everyone who is involved.
The option to open early is something that town administrator Joseph Fernandes is very much in favour of. He feels that this is something that will be needed in order to keep the application competitive with other bidders within the state, and the changes to the original host agreement will make it more likely that everything can go ahead. It was the principal investor in Plainridge, Stan Fulton, who insisted that the changes ought to be made. “Given the desire of the commission to get revenue flowing to the commonwealth as expeditiously as possible, we are happy to proceed with a temporary facility should we be fortunate enough to get the green light,” Penn National Vice President for Public Affairs Eric Schippers said. “That will allow us to begin the flow of dollars in mid-2014, with the permanent facility expected to be open in April 2015.” Plainridge has announced that they would be able to get those first five hundred machines operating by next summer if they are able to win the license in February, whilst waiting a little over a year for the main facility to be built.