Plainridge Park Casino Claims State Audit is Wrong

by Kyle Miller

Plainridge Park CasinoPlainridge Park Casino in Plainville recently became subject to a negative state audit, with officials claiming the report is wrong.

When a casino is constructed in the United States, it must live up to certain rules and regulations. Across the United States, there are varying rules and regulations for gaming venues that must be adhered to. In Plainville, the Plainridge Park Casino must follow certain regulations within the licensing agreement to stay in operation. After a recent state audit, the casino has been accused of not remaining within the licensing agreement parameters.

Failing to Follow Procedures

The state auditor has claimed that the Plainridge Park Casino has not followed the licensing agreement in which 90% of workers must be from Plainville as well as surrounding towns. However, the casino and town experts claim this is not true. The unemployment rate in the area is at a record low and has been since the gaming venue opened back in the summer of 2015.

As part of the licensing agreement, the casino had to hire at least 90% of their workforce from the area in which the venue is located. This included surrounding towns of North Attleboro, Foxboro, Mansfield and Wrentham. When the state audit was released, it was found that the casino had failed to reach the goal of hiring from the area. The audit surmised that only 36% of the 500 employees are from Plainville and the surrounding area.

Suzanne Bump is the state auditor who reviewed the casino and told the State Gaming Commission that the venue needs to be held accountable. In a statement, Bump said that gaming was established in the state to create jobs and economic benefits for local communities, as well as the state as a whole. Bump said that Plainridge Park is falling short of the creation of jobs for the area and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is at fault for not taking action to ensure the commitment for job creation was met.

Just Not Gonna Happen

On the other side, Northeastern University Associate Professor of Economics Alan Clayton-Matthews stated that the unemployment of the area is low and having a local workforce of 90% is just not plausible. The state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development has reported that 2,300 more jobs have been created in Attleboro within the past year and this has made the unemployment percentage in the area to below 3%.

Back in October, the unemployment rate of Plainville was at 2.1%. 2.5% was the rate in North Attleboro and 2.4% was found in Mansfield. For the Plainridge venue to be able to stay in line with the licensing agreement, around 450 employees of the venue would have to be from the area. However, this would be difficult to do since the unemployment rate is so low.

According to Clayton-Matthews, it seems highly unlikely that 450 qualified individuals could be found in the area who are unemployed to fill the spots at the casino. It must be considered that individuals with certain skills have to be found and these individuals may not be located in the area.

In response to the audit report, Plainridge has revealed that 77% of their employees are from Massachusetts and the casino is committed to hiring locally. According to the General Manager and the Vice President of Plainridge, the goal is to maximize employment opportunities for the region and the commonwealth. The casino works diligently and aggressively towards these objectives. 14% of the staff is reportedly from ethnic minority groups which exceeds the 10% benchmark in place based on the licensing agreement.