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Leaf Home arrow The News arrow North East News arrow Mohegan Sun begins recount process
Mohegan Sun begins recount process
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 09 November 2013
Mohegan Sun begins recount process
MGM is the only casino developer left
By Ryan Walsh
November 7, 2013

PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) - First Hard Rock's plan in West Springfield crumbled, and now Palmer voters turned down Mohegan Sun's $1 billion resort casino project.  
The 22News I-Team discovered what that means for the western Massachusetts casino license.  
Late Wednesday afternoon, the I-Team discovered that Mohegan Sun has started the process of asking for a recount. They lost by just 93 votes, but as of Wednesday, MGM Springfield is the only casino developer left standing in Western Massachusetts.  
A loud chorus of no's from Palmer voters turned into cheers from an anti-casino group. Mohegan Sun had been waiting six years for a celebration that never happened. Now it's only hope is a recount that ends up in their favor.

"We have great respect for the process and all the voters in Palmer.  We believe the request is consistent that the process of counting the ballots is accurate," said Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority CEO Mitchell Etess.

Mohegan Sun has voiced concerns about a voting machine in Precinct 2. 
"The machine was not accepting ballots we alerted the town officials right away, after that point we observed town officials taking ballots out of the machine and some ballots ended up on the floor," said Mohegan Sun attorney Kevin Conroy.
If this vote stands, MGM is left as the only casino developer in western Massachusetts to pass their background check.  

"We've been working very hard and been very transparent, they've been working hard at the MGC level to understand that business. We're very confident at the end of the day that they'll understand it and feel comfortable with us and we'll pass suitability," said MGM Vice President of Global Gaming Development Mike Mathis.

MGM at one point was competing with two casino developers in Springfield. Then another two in Western Massachusetts.  Since Springfield is the only western Massachusetts community that passed a casino referendum... MGM is in the driver's seat for the western mass casino license.  

"We were obviously an interested observer last night in the results, whether it's a 5 operator race or a 1 operator race we remain focused on our project," said Mathis.

A petition for a recount must be submitted within ten days. From there Palmer's town attorney and town clerk will review that request. If approved, a recount would be held at least three days after that.   

Below is a statement from Mohegan Sun and the Yes for Palmer Committee:

Today (Wednesday) Mohegan Sun and the Yes for Palmer Committee have initiated the process of gathering necessary voter signatures on petitions for a town-wide recount of votes in the November 5 referendum election on Mohegan Sun’s host community agreement with Palmer. Once completed, we will be filing those petitions with the Palmer Town Clerk and asking that the recount be performed as soon as possible. Mohegan Sun and the Yes for Palmer Committee are concerned with possible irregularities in the balloting process that were observed on Election Day by poll watchers and voters. We have great respect for the process and strong level of voter engagement on both sides of this issue, and believe this action is appropriate to ensure an accurate count of all ballots.

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