Casino Possible for Raynham Park
The Mashpee Womponoags are reportedly in discussion with the owner of the former dog track.
Members of the Mashpee Womponoag Tribe are reportedly in discussion with the owner of the Raynham Park just over the Raynham town line, according to the Cape Cod Times.
The Times said "multiple sources" confirmed that park owner George Carney and leaders from the tribe are "in talks."
Formerly a 108-acre greyhound race track, the park became an area for simulcast betting in 2008 after dog racing was banned in Massachusetts. The park is located on route 138 south of Easton.
Board of Selectmen Chair Colleen Corona expressed concerns regarding traffic and public safety.
"A casino located there would certainly impact the intersection of Routes 106 and 138," she said. "I’m concerned about public safety issues with traffic coming out of a casino at night."
Corey Lucas of the engineering firm Beta Group told selectmen earlier this year that the crash rate at Foundry and Turnpike Street (138 and 106) is among the highest in the state, with a rate of 1.86 per million vehicles entering. Plans are in the works with the state to improve the intersection, which could be funded by Fiscal Year 2014.
Neither Carney nor Cedric Cromwell, chairman of the tribal council, confirmed that they were in discussions. Cromwell did say that the tribe was looking for a site for a resort casino.
"We have been evaluating and investigating multiple sites throughout our ancestral homeland in southeastern Massachusetts for our proposed resort casino," Cromwell said in a statement released Monday. "We have had preliminary conversations about possible sites and we are excited about the options that we have identified; however, it would be premature to comment on any location specifically at this time."
While discussions may be in early stages, the thought of a casino near Easton is something worth paying attention to, Corona said.
"The larger the complex, the larger the implecations," she said. "You’ve seen in casinos in other parts of the country where there were impacts on housing around casinos – there are many impacts around a casino. This is something we’re going to have to wait and see what the outcome is."