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Massachusetts Grants Provisional OK to Foxwoods-Backed Casino

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, moving ahead with plans to authorize as many as three casinos in the state, ruled the Crossroads Massachusetts LLC group is conditionally suitable to be granted a license.

The commission required the group, which includes the owners of the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, to obtain its additional financing as part of the approval, according to an e-mailed statement yesterday.

Crossroads said separately it signed a letter of intent with Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc., a real estate investment trust, that completes the financing. Under their accord for the $1 billion project, GLPI, which was spun out of Penn National Gaming Inc., will own the property and Crossroads will operate the casino.

“We’re confident that GLPI’s financial support will help us bring our project to fruition,” Foxwoods President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Butera said in a statement.

Massachusetts legalized casino gambling two years ago with plans calling for three resorts in three distinct parts of the state. Crossroads is competing against Wynn Resorts Ltd. and the Suffolk Downs horse track to build in the Boston area.

Investigators for the gaming commission said in a report released Nov. 13 they couldn’t complete the Crossroads examination because the group had yet to enter into an agreement with an unidentified investor.

Residents of Milford, 40 miles southwest of Boston, are being asked to approve the Crossroads proposal Nov. 19. Foxwoods is owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

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