George Carney, owner of Raynham Park, had been in talks with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe about the track, but says those talks have fizzled.
George Carney, owner of Raynham Park, said Monday that discussions with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe over the future of his dog track are all but dead.
Carney, who last month said he had talked “two or three” times with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe about the track, said Monday the two sides haven’t communicated in close to six weeks. The tribe has been exploring possible sites in southeastern Massachusetts for a gaming facility, including in Middleboro where a casino deal fell through last year.
“I’ve been led to believe they have another location they think is better,” said Carney, who didn’t say what that site might be. “It’s not the end of the world. Not the end of my world, I should say.”
Carney said he is in no other discussions. He said he thinks people are hesitant to enter into any agreement before any decisions regarding legalized gambling are made on Beacon Hill.
Meanwhile, Carney said he wasn’t concerned that state racetracks have been given just a six-month extension to simulcast greyhound and horse racing. In the past, those approvals were for one year.
“It’s one less problem I have for the next six months,” he said.
Gov. Deval Patrick last week signed a bill for the six-month extension, just days before the current agreement was set to expire on Sunday.
If the long-debated bill clearing the path for casinos in Massachusetts passes in the coming months, Carney said he has “been led to believe” one addressing simulcasting will also be attached.
Since voters in 2008 decided to ban live dog racing, simulcasting has served as the lifeblood for the park and its 200-plus employees.
Carney has been an ardent supporter of a legalized gambling bill, which could include provisions for casinos as well as slot parlors at existing racetracks.
But any discussions of incorporating a partner or selling Raynham Park – whether as a possible casino site or otherwise – are on hold at the moment, Carney said.
Massachusetts political leaders are said to be trying to cut a final deal legalizing casino gambling after years of noisy disagreements doomed earlier efforts.
Patrick, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray – all Democrats who support some kind of expanded gaming – hope to agree to the broad outlines of a plan before a bill is filed.
The goal is to avoid the caustic rhetoric that pitted Patrick against DeLeo over the issue of allowing slot machines at some of the state’s four racetracks. That clash killed hopes for a casino deal last year.
This time, the three are doing much of their negotiating out of public view. They’re also taking their time to cut a