Mayoral candidate Maria Giesta said KG Urban's proposed casino project for New Bedford was a golden opportunity to bring jobs and investment to the city.

But now that the developer's application for a casino license has been withdrawn, Giesta says Mayor Jon Mitchell could have done more to keep the project alive.

Giesta blamed the Mayor for being "tepid" on the casino project from the beginning and creating obstacles to the development. "Clearly as Mayor of course you have to make sure that the City gets the best deal, but clearly this is not the best deal for the City because nothing is happening," said Giesta, "it's gone, it's done."

The candidate added, New Bedford deserves a Mayor who will do more than fight for the status quo.

Mitchell said in a statement that Giesta's claims were absurd.

Mitchell says his job as Mayor was to negotiate the best possible host community agreement for the city. The mayor said he did that and the developer agreed to the terms. He added that 73% of the voters approved of it during a city-wide refurendum.

Mitchell also explained that it wasn't until January that KG Urban identified a casino operator, and he wanted to know that before beginning full-scale talks.

KG Urban announced on Wednesday that it was withdrawing its bid for the "Region C" casino license because it couldn"t pull together financing for the $650 million project.


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