The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday approved Bolton’s petition to be designated a “surrounding community” in relation to the Cordish Company proposed slots casino to be located just off Route 117 in Leominster. It is an acknowledgement that the casino, if built, will likely have a significant impact on traffic in town, and it gives Bolton a strengthened hand in negotiating an impact agreement with the casino developer.
The Commission’s traffic consultant noted “that it is conceivable that Route 117 in Bolton could provide access for 20% or more of the casino related trips.” That math works out to well over 500,000 additional vehicle trips passing through town annually. And the town’s petition argued that the real number could be even higher.
The consultant concluded: “As a result of the level of casino related traffic estimated to pass through the Town of Bolton while traveling to the casino site, based on the information that has been reviewed and evaluated, and based on the above factors considered in this surrounding community evaluation, it is our opinion that there would be a significant and adverse traffic impact.“
Next steps: the town and the developer now have 30 days to negotiate an impact agreement or come to a deal through arbitration.
Below is the full 75 page report from the Mass Gaming Commission, if you’d like to see all the detail.