Key casino license deadline approaches

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — A key deadline is coming up for casino developers competing for one of three gaming licenses in Massachusetts.  The state Gaming Commission is in close touch with developers to make sure they make complete submissions on time.

“At this point it’s last minute questions, it’s last minute meetings, in fact that’s where I’m headed now …to make sure everyone has the information they need to get the applications in and meet the Tuesday deadline,” said Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Gayle Cameron, on her way out of a Commission meeting Thursday.

Casino developers vying for a license have until January 15 to submit initial applications and pay a $400,000  fee.  The Tuesday deadline is for phase one of a two-step casino licensing process.  It requires developers to undergo a thorough three to six month background check to evaluate their suitability, integrity and financial ability.

“We’re working with our investigation and enforcement bureau and our consultants to streamline this background process as much as we possibly can,” said Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby.

So far, two developers competing for a casino license in western Massachusetts have submitted their phase one application and fee: MGM Resorts and Penn National.  But Commissioners expect more submissions to be made close to deadline.

“It’s been reported that Mohegan Sun will bring in their application for their project proposal in Palmer and as we’ve heard about, we expect another proposal to be laid out tomorrow in West Springfield,” said Gaming Commissioner and former Springfield City Councilor Bruce Stebbins.

Plainridge harness race track has handed in a complete submission for a southeast license and Suffolk Downs has only handed in a fee for a Boston area license. 

Casino developers that pass the phase one licensing process will go on to an even more competitive design proposal evaluation in the fall.  The Commission hopes to issue its first casino license by February 2014. 

 

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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