Mayor, Foxwoods announce Fall River casino plans

Foxwoods is the next organization willing to roll the dice in an attempt to build a casino in southeastern Massachusetts.

"This is something that will be a real tourist destination that will create thousands of jobs," Scott Butera, CEO of Foxwoods, said Tuesday at a news conference formally announcing the project.

Mayor Will Flanagan said the $750 million casino resort would bring 3,000 to 5,000 jobs to the city of Fall River and give locals a first chance at them. But residents said they are concerned casinos could attract more crime.

"It could be positive, but also it could cause a lot of chaos in this year because it is Fall River, you know, and then adding a casino over here," said Grace Bennett.

State law allows only one casino in southeastern Massachusetts.

Foxwoods already tried to build in Milford, but voters turned that down. KG Urban Enterprises wants to build in New Bedford, and the legislature promised the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe it could build in Taunton, but getting land rights has been difficult.

Flanagan said he thinks Fall River can win the race to build.

"I wish everybody well, but I think when this process is all said and done the cards we've been dealt are going to be in our favor," Flanagan said.

Fall River will launch a community development team to determine where the proposed casino would be built.

Flanagan said his goal is to get the casino proposal on a referendum by March and have shovels in the ground by 2015.