BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — The Massachusetts Gaming Commission says the western part of the state has the best market for a casino license. The Commission can issue up to three casino licenses in three designated regions in the state, so when 22 News asked Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby if the western region would get a license first because of its strong and competitive market, he said it’s a possibility.
“If there are 6 bidders, they’ll be jockeying to look the best right up front. If there’s only one bidder we’ll be the ones that say no that’s not good enough, go back, so yeah, in a way, more competition could make it quicker too,” said Crosby.
Western Massachusetts has about 5 major casino developers who are planning or considering sites to build gambling resorts, while the Boston area only has one solid proposal.
“We’re seeing a lot of interest in western Massachusetts, we certainly would like to see more interest in the Boston region at this point,” said Mass Gaming Commissioner Bruce Stebbins.
And this week the Legislature approved a tribal gaming deal that gives the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe exclusive rights to the southeast region. But the tribe needs to secure land-in-trust from the federal government, which could take years.
“If you look at what’s going to be tied up with this Indian tribal compact and then if you look at the Boston situation, it really does, I think, mandate that Western Mass and that casino be the first one that’s granted,” said Rep. Angelo Puppolo (D- Springfield).
“Western Massachusetts in my view is the best positioned of the three regions to secure a license,” said Rep. Joe Wagner (D-Chicopee). “The level of competition is greater than in either of the other two regions.”
Lawmakers say among the western region’s advantages is its cheaper land and close proximity to highways that can attract gamblers from surrounding New England states.
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DaveCulbertson | July 20 2012 9:42pm
Western Massachusetts is in dire need of jobs and the cities and towns need the tax revenue. It does not really matter who is first but it would nice if it happened here where there is available space, a good location and multiple interested casino operators who feel this is an excellent location.
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