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Easton Officials Monitor Two Possible Gaming Resorts Near Town Borders

Raynham Park has applied for a slot license and the Mashpee Wampanoags are continuing talks for a tribal casino in Taunton.

Easton officials are keeping an eye on two possible gaming resorts near town borders.

Town Planner Gary Anderson appeared before Selectmen Monday to discuss Raynham Park, which is located just over the Easton border on Route 138. According to Anderson, the park recently applied to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for a slot license, which the state will reward to one of the four applicants.

Should slots be allowed in Raynham, the Shovel Town will likely be named as a "surrounding community," which will allow it to secure funding for impact studies and voice concerns throughout the process.

If the town is not named as a "surrounding community," Easton will apply for "surrounding community" status, he said.

"We expect that we will be," Anderson said. "If by small chance we’re not, we can ask the gaming commission."

The town planner said he has already met with the Easton Fire Chief Kevin Partridge, Easton Police Chief Allen Kracjik and Easton Department of Public Works Director David Field to discuss impacts.

Anderson's discussion of Raynham Park comes while negotiations are still ongoing for a tribal casino further down the road in Taunton.

Governor Deval Patrick told reporters Tuesday that he is "close" to finalizing a renegotiated compact with the Mashpee Wampanoags for a $500 million casino in Taunton, approximately 10 miles from Easton's border.

According to MyFoxBoston.com, Patrick and the tribe will re-submit a compact either this week or next.

"We're trying to work through with the tribe and we have hope, I think it's either by the end of this week or early next week, to be able to go down to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and show them the framework so that we get some preliminary feedback from them and we don't go through the process that we did the last time, thinking we had a deal that was going to satisfy them," Patrick told MyFoxBoston.

The new agreement would be after an original compact was denied by the Bureau of Indian Affairs last year.

Anderson told Selectmen Monday that should a casino be approved in Taunton, the Shovel Town will likely be named as a "surrounding community" for that as well.

"If that is successful, and the state grants license there, certainly we will be a surrounding community for that," Anderson said.

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