New Bedford: Casino plans are reportedly underway in the historic Massachusetts town after voters gave the idea a thumbs up, and town officials couldn't be happier.
The measure comes after an enthusiastic push from Mayor Jon Mitchell, who is backing the plan as a way to bring a much-needed boost to the economy. The casino will reportedly feature glass walls and will give visitors a panoramic view of the harbor.
“Obviously, we are very pleased. This is validation from the voters that the deal we got is a good one for the city. We look forward to competing for the license and returning New Bedford to its status as one of the leading cities in the Northeast," Mitchell said.
The $650 million project is believed to have the ability to create upwards of 6,000 jobs in an area that desperately needs them, but some residents fear the addition of such a business will lead to an uptick in crime. Others worry that the lengthy construction will take a toll on the existing jobs along the waterfront, but there are those who believe it's time for a change even if it comes at a price.
"New Bedford needs to make a change. We don't have many choices. Where else are we going to get the jobs and the revenue?" said Robert Gifford, a New Bedford resident.
Although the voters were enthusiastic about bringing the casino in, the state Gaming Commission still has to decide whether New Bedford or Brockton--which also put in a bid for the business--will get the title of home to the casino. The decision will be made by the end of the year.