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Tribe to Break Ground on Massachusetts' First Casino on April 5


UPDATED, April 1, 2016: Removed the reference that Genting Group financially backed the Mohegan Sun casino as the group did not.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony for its First Light Resort & Casino — Massachusetts' first resort casino — on Tuesday, April 5 in Taunton at 61R Stevens Street.

RELATED: In Race to Open Massachusetts' First Resort Casino, Tribe Takes the Lead

The first phase of the project is slated to open by summer 2017.

Upon completion, First Light will feature 3,000 slot machines, 150 gaming tables and 40 poker tables; a buffet and fine dining restaurants; nine retail stores; 900 guest rooms and suites in three 15-story hotel towers; a 31,000-square-foot ballroom with stage; meeting rooms; a water park; a spa; and 3,980 parking spaces in a parking garage with an additional 738 surface parking areas.

The proposed hotels, a parking garage and water park will be built out through 2022, a tribal spokesman said.

The project is also backed by Genting Group, the international, Malaysia-based casino operator, which was also one of the early financiers of the Mashantucket Tribe's Foxwoods Resort Casino, based in neighboring Connecticut.

On March 14, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell and City of Taunton Mayor Thomas C. Hoye Jr. unveiled updated site plans and artistic renderings of the casino.