State law requires that the first thing that must be done is for a community to agree to host the slot machine parlor, Knowles said, negotiating and signing a host agreement with the company involved. Raynham has already signed such an agreement with a company, Knowles said, and there are others interested.
After the host agreement is signed, a referendum must be conducted in which voters get their say on whether or not they want slot machine gaming in their community, Knowles said. The agreement must be in place at least 60 days prior to the referendum, he added.
Should Salisbury’s selectmen sign on, and voters approve the slot machine host agreement, Salisbury’s proposal, along with proposals from other communities, will be submitted to the state gaming commission. The commission decides which proposal to choose.
According to its website, the Cordish companies date back to 1910 and have had four generations of “privately-held, family ownership” and entertainment districts and casinos is one of their commercial focuses.
More than a decade ago, townspeople fought through the issues of bringing gambling to Salisbury Beach. A national casino company had options to purchase a number of pieces of property at the beach. However, at the time casinos were not legal in the state.
The battle, which became heated at times, ended when voters turned down gambling at the beach at the polls. Zoning at the beach district reflects that vote, and gambling establishments are now prohibited at Salisbury Beach.