Mohegan Sun's CEO Mitchell Etess is confident that his group's proposed casino plans in Palmer are the ones to beat.
"We understand what drives the market ... we understand what people want and what it takes to be successful in New England ... and I really think at the end of the day, that's why we will be selected," said Etess.
This statement comes less than two weeks after 300 employees were laid off at the casino resort in Connecticut.
Mohegan Sun is proposing a $600 million casino. It will be on 150 square miles of property just off of Route 32 in Palmer.
Currently, Mohegan still has not paid the state gaming commissions' $400,000 non-refundable application fee.
Etess said he doesn't need to throw down money to show his commitment to the plans.
"That $400,000 is supposed to be put down to show commitment to the commonwealth ... to show your commitment to getting a license ... the fact is we could not show any more commitment than we've already shown right now," Etess said.
In fact, Mohegan Sun has been a part of the Palmer community for more than 3 1/2 years.
However, Wednesday wasn't just about Mohegan's plans. It also was a chance for working people and business owners to understand how they would be affected if a casino comes to Palmer. That includes business owners like Susan Trudeau.
"As a small business person ... knowing what we would be up against, or knowing how they could help us...," said Trudeau, a Ware resident.
The state gaming commission has required bidders to submit their $400,000 non-refundable fee between Oct. 19 and Jan. 15. Etess plans to submit the fee at some point in this time frame.
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