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Publication: The Day

Published November 14. 2008 4:00AM   Updated December 11. 2009 4:31PM

Mohegan - Mohegan Sun has leased land in the western Massachusetts town of Palmer for a possible casino development in the event Massachusetts lawmakers approve casino gaming.

The Mohegan Tribe announced Thursday it has signed a 50-year lease on 152 acres with options to renew it for another 49 years. The land is in a private lot just off of Route 32. The cost of the lease was not immediately disclosed. Mohegan representative Paul Brody said the tribe is spending millions now as an investment.

”We've been working with local and state officials for more than a year” on the transaction, Chuck Bunnell, the tribe's chief of staff, said. The agreement was reached with the property's owner, Leo Dragone, Bunnell said.

This year, state lawmakers declined to approve casino gaming, but they may reconsider it next session. Mohegan officials said that if lawmakers approve gaming next year, the new Palmer casino could open by 2012. State regulators would still have to grant the Mohegans a state license.


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