PLAINVILLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Massachusetts Gaming Commission held a rare in-person public hearing on Monday to discuss a harness racing license renewal.
The hearing discussed Plainridge Park Casino's request to renew the harness horse racing license for 2023. Several town officials in support of the renewal told the Gaming Commission that Plainridge has helped the community with its partnership.
They said the casino has provided jobs and economic growth for the community. In 2021, the revenue reported from the local share of racing taxes alone reflected $108,000 that went toward the town's operating budget.
At the hearing, Steve O'Toole, the Director of Racing at Plainridge Park Casino said when the community heard about the plans for the track to be built in 1999 they were unsure, but their mindset changed when they saw how it was positively influencing the community.
"After a track record of about four or five years that [uncertainty] kind of went away, everyone saw the positive effects and not the negative effects," O'Toole said.
One man named Drew was the only town resident to attend the meeting. He spoke in favor of the request to renew and told WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe the money coming from the community host agreement has helped improve the town as they have started rebuilding older buildings including the town hall.