Kraft, Wynn suspend Foxborough casino proposal
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (WHDH) -- Plans to bring a $1 billion resort-style casino to the New England Patriots' hometown have been suspended, Las Vegas casino developer Steve Wynn and Robert Kraft announced Tuesday, a day after two opponents of the project were elected to the town board.
“We’re just absolutely thrilled. We’re thrilled,” said casino opponent Stephanie Crimmins. “This is just -- it happened so quickly. We just did not expect that this would take place as fast as it did.”
Crimmins, who founded the group No Foxboro Casino in December, said members of the grassroots organization are "just absolutely thrilled" by the news.
Wynn joined Kraft at Foxboro in December and made his pitch to build a resort-style casino on land leased from the Patriots owner across from Gillette Stadium.
Tuesday's announcement from The Kraft Group and Wynn Resorts came after Foxborough voters elected two selectmen who opposed negotiations with Wynn.
"With Monday's election, we believe the citizens of Foxborough have spoken," The Kraft Group said in a statement. "As we originally committed, we have heard them and respect their collective voice."
“Hallelujah!” said Sheila Masterson, a business owner. “I don’t like gambling.”
The election acted much like a referendum vote on the casino.
“I’m focusing on the word suspension -- which means temporarily put something on hold,” said Lorraine Brue, who won the election. Brue is not sure it’s over.
Some say the fight is over because Kraft knows the board of selectmen won’t support the project.
“The process has ended,” said Ginny Coppola, who also won the election. “Because that’s one of the requirements to even apply for a license and if you can’t get that host community agreement it’s done.”
Others are sorry to hear the news.
“That’s a mistake. I think the town could use the jobs. I think it would help the community. I was all for it,” said Timothy Forkin, who supports a casino in Foxboro.
Below are the complete statements released on Tuesday:
Statement from The Kraft Group:
When the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed gaming legislation, we brought forth an opportunity with the unquestioned premier developer and operator in the industry. We have the greatest respect for Steve Wynn, his team and his business model, and believe this unique opportunity was worthy of a chance to be heard. With Monday’s election, we believe the citizens of Foxborough have spoken. As we originally committed, we have heard them and respect their collective voice. With that democratic statement, as opposed to the voices of five individuals, we will be suspending our efforts regarding a destination resort development. We thank all of the residents who reached out and participated in a dialogue about the future of the Town and thank Wynn Resorts for their interest in Foxborough.
Statement from Wynn Resorts:
LAS VEGAS, May 8, 2012 — For the past six months, Wynn Resorts has sought to communicate the benefits of a proposed destination resort in Foxborough. Yesterday's election demonstrates the community's will and Wynn Resorts respects the outcome. We would like to thank all the Foxborough residents who supported the proposed resort and reached out to discuss the opportunity. We also would like to extend our gratitude to Robert Kraft and The Kraft Group for the introduction to the Town of Foxborough and support on this project.
(Copyright (c) 2012 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)