The Nash Casino Set to Open in New Hampshire’s Pheasant Lane Mall

upcoming opening of The Nash Casino
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Nashua, New Hampshire’s forthcoming casino at the Pheasant Lane Mall will be called The Nash Casino. The name and modern exterior design were recently released by ECL Entertainment, a Las Vegas-based gaming company.

ECL Entertainment and Clairvest are the developers behind the casino. ECL owns and operates venues in Kentucky, including the Mint Casino at Kentucky Downs, according to the New Hampshire Business Review. Clairvest is a Toronto-based private equity firm.

The New Hampshire casino will include more than 1,000 historic horse race (HHR) machines and dozens of table games. It will be placed in a two-story, 180,000-square-foot former Sears store, and is scheduled to open next winter. The store has been vacant since 2020.

It will be a charitable casino, directing 35% of profits to non-profits. The casino is expected to earn about $24M a year for more than 100 non-profits, according to New Hampshire TV station WMUR. Additionally, between 500 and 600 employees will be hired at The Nash Casino.

Opposition to Casino

The casino has led to controversy. Some residents, like Mags Pattantyus of Nashua, expressed concerns: “I think a casino, while it can help bring in revenue and help non-profits, it might not be the direction I want to see Nashua heading,” Pattantyus told WMUR.

During the review process, residents voiced concerns about how police will handle emergencies at the casino, especially since the entire parking area is in Tyngsborough, Mass., rather than in New Hampshire. Others thought the presence of a casino would clash with other mall tenants.

Bill Ohm, a local resident, commented, “It seems to me that an adult entertainment center [placed] into one of the five big box stores, the vacant Sears store, is way out of character with the master plan, and I think it’s way out of character with the mall, which [is] a family-friendly shopping center,” he was quoted by WMUR.

Future Jobs a Plus

Despite the opposition, some residents are optimistic about the new jobs the casino will bring. Jesse Dellea is happy that her Nashua neighbors can get hired at the new gaming property. “If it brings jobs to the area, that’s great,” she told WMUR.

Stefan Hausberger, a local business owner, added, “I think having a casino in the mall is outside-the-box thinking… I believe, in the end, it will be a shot in the arm to the Daniel Webster Highway and the retail, restaurants, and what have you, down there.”

Last year, the Nashua Planning Board voted by a 4-to-1 margin to approve the project. Under the plan, licenses from two Nashua casinos, The Lucky Moose Casino & Tavern and The River Casino & Sports Bar, will be transferred to the new casino.

The Simon Property Group owns the Pheasant Lane Mall.