In the American state of Massachusetts and a local businessman is reportedly seeking permission to spend upwards of $25 million so as to construct an equine center complete with a mile-long dirt horseracing track and a retail sportsbook.
According to a Tuesday report from the Telegram and Gazette newspaper, the proposition from Armand Janjigian would see a 223-acre site in the town of Sturbridge transformed into the Sturbridge Agricultural and Equestrian Center. The source detailed that the 86-year-old thoroughbred horse breeder wants the coming development located along Massachusetts’ border with Connecticut to also feature a 4,620-feet turf track as well as a conference center and a multitude of restaurants.
Home to just shy of 10,000 people, Sturbridge is situated some 60 miles west of Boston while being a mere 18 miles from the small state’s second largest city, Worcester. Janjigian reportedly explained that his envisioned equine venue will moreover come complete with athletic fields and a community center to host musical performances and festivals alongside walking and educational trails.
The owner and operator of a chain of regional high-end health facilities, Janjigian reportedly predicted that his imagined Sturbridge Agricultural and Equestrian Center could create up to 100 full-time jobs and annually bring in benefits for the local community worth up to $1 million. He furthermore purportedly forecast that the finished development may even apply for permission to operate online sportsbetting should Massachusetts lawmakers pass measures legalizing the activity.
The Telegram and Gazette reported that the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders Association as well as the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association have both already expressed support for Janjigian’s project, which is due to be discussed later this month via a pair of public hearings before put before a special town meeting.
Jeffrey Bridges serves as the Town Administrator for Sturbridge and he reportedly told the newspaper that the equine proposal will not become a reality unless two-thirds of the local population give their consent by means of a referendum. Should such assent be granted and the official purportedly asserted that the venue would primarily facilitate betting on on-site horse races in addition to online sportsbetting.
Bridges reportedly stated…
“I’m sure they heard support and concern throughout the community and it’s really going to come down to addressing those concerns and people understanding what this is and what this is not. It’s not a casino as there are no gaming tables and there are no slot machines. As the applicant said, it’s ten races a year plus a series of community events that the town is able to coordinate with them.”