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Massachusetts Gaming Commission Approves State's First Casino License

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has voted to award the first casino gambling license in the state.

   The gaming commission voted 3 to 2 Thursday to award a license to Penn National Gaming to operate a slot machine parlor at a harness race track in Plainville on the Rhode Island border. Penn beat out two competitors for the lone slot license allowed by state law. Commissioner Bruce Stebbins said the vote is a milestone.

    "We're taking the next step in a long and lengthy process that's introducing gaming into the Commonwealth in the right way and at a level of success we all hope to achieve."

    A majority of commissioners backed Penn’s proposal citing the company’s experience running 28 gaming facilities around the country, and the prospect of saving the horse race industry in Massachusetts.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.