Deliberations Begin for Mass.' Only Slots Parlor License

(NECN: Greg Wayland) - It figures that all the bustle, color and coin-crazy fun you find in a slots parlor must first pass through a vetting process, which in Massachusetts amounted to a "parlor" at the Boston Convention Center Tuesday, where the Massachusetts Gaming Commission began mulling over three slot parlor proposals from Plainville, Raynham and Leominster.

Critria include finances, building and site design, environmental and community impact.

Raynham Race Track owner George Carney was just a bit on edge.

"It's like a 15-round fight to me, but we're only through the first round," he said.

Carney hopes to reinvent his one-time dog racing track into a slots venue.

"There's a lot of issues here. Who's going to raise the most money for the Commonwealth, who's going to create the most jobs," Carney said.

Carney believes he has the edge, but so do supporters of a slots parlor at the Plainridge Harness Race Course in Plainville, Mass.

"The stakes for us, which is the horse-racing community, it's bigger than high. It's everything," race horse owner Bill Abdelnaur said.

In essence it's the future of harness racing in Massachusetts.

Paul Silva is a blacksmith.

"My business is down about 50 percent and I project if Plainville doesn't get the slots that it'll go down probably another 25 percent. I can't handle that, I'd have to re-locate. I cannot stay in business here," he said.

Some at the meeting privately thought Leominister might be scoring best with the Commisson, though no one from that community was available to comment.

George Carney isn't quitting.

"I'm looking to be around here on Thursday afternoon when they're wrapping it up," he said.

The Commission hopes to make its decision no later than Friday.

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