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Q&A With David Nunes on his Casino Proposal

Editor's Note: David Nunes announced earlier this month that Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut is partnering with him on his proposal to build a resort casino complex off Interstate Route 495 in Milford. He told the Town Crier this partnership has "changed the dynamics in Massachusetts" in the competition for the Boston-area casino license. The Milford Town Crier asked Nunes to respond to 10 questions about the casino proposal. Here are his verbatim answers.

Town Crier: It's been a while since you've been in Milford. When will we see you in town again?

David Nunes: I will confer with the folks at Foxwoods and let you know.

Town Crier: Has your proposed resort casino changed since you last presented a concept to the Board of Selectmen?

David Nunes: Obviously, Foxwoods will have some changes from a branding perspective.

Town Crier: When you filed your Phase I financial application with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, you listed more partners than just yourself and William Warner. Who are all the principal partners now and what are their roles?

David Nunes: I have a confidentiality agreement, which precludes me from discussing this information.

Town Crier: Why did you choose Foxwoods as a partner?

David Nunes: Foxwoods is the pre-eminent name in gaming in New England. They know what the Massachusetts gaming customer likes and dislikes. With Foxwoods I don't have to re-invent the wheel.

Town Crier: You've talked a lot over the years about keeping traffic to and from the casino on Interstate 495. But, what about all the people traveling from cities and towns east and west of Milford – won't they create traffic jams driving on local roads to get to 495?

David Nunes: Why would you travel on local roads at 30 miles per hour when you can drive on highways at 60 miles per hour?

Town Crier: For years, Milford has been discussing building an "alternate route" for cars just passing through Milford to avoid the downtown area and go more directly toward 495. The biggest obstacle to building this is cost. Would you consider paying for this as part of any mitigation involved with building the resort casino?

David Nunes: We will have discussions with the Milford officials and figure out what is on their wish list and what is economically feasible.

Town Crier: Do you think your final proposal – which I understand will be a "sealed bid" to the Mass. Gaming Commission – really has a chance to beat the "political interests" pushing Boston and Everett? In other words, what do you think makes Milford a better site than the others?

David Nunes: Milford, due to its central location halfway between the two largest cities in the Commonwealth repatriates more dollars headed to Connecticut and Rhode Island, which is at the heart of the decision-making, according to the legislation.

Town Crier: A group of people from Milford and two abutting towns opposed to your proposed casino have organized into a group known as "Casino-Free Milford." Are you open to meeting with them and discussing their concerns?

David Nunes: Certainly, it's vital to the process.

Town Crier: The approval process for getting new highway ramps built off 495 is said to be very long and costly. If the Gaming Commission selects your proposal, what are the odds of getting the ramps approved and built by the time you open the casino?

David Nunes: This is not an issue which concerns me in the least bit based on our discussions to date.

Town Crier: You said all access to and from the casino would be from 495. But, what about the federal highway rule that says off-ramps have to connect to a public road?

David Nunes: Has anyone ever heard of a one-way road?


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