BOSTON (WWLP) — The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is nearly $4.5 million dollars richer now that eleven casino developers have put down applications fees to compete for a casino license. But the Commonwealth won’t be seeing any of that money. All of it will go toward vetting casino developers in a costly background check process.
“In order to give the security that we’ve got the best people and only the best people, we have to take the time to look into all of these individuals and all of these entities and it turns out to be a lot of money,” said Gaming Chairman Stephen Crosby.
In their weekly meeting, The Commission laid out some of the costs – 100 hours of work by project managers and coordinators paid at about $400 dollars an hour. Accountants paid at $400 dollars an hour. Some background investigations may go over the $400,000 dollar application fee paid by developers, in which case the developers are required to pay the balance.
“And any difference we assess the applicants in advance of incurring the cost,” said Gaming Commissioner Enrique Zuniga.
Massachusetts will not benefit from any gaming revenue until the first casino and slots licenses are issued at $85 and $25 million dollars respectively. Governor Deval Patrick is anticipating the first casino license to be issued next February and is including $83 million dollars of that revenue in the 2014 state budget. Funds will go toward economic development projects, tourism, cities and towns and community colleges.
“We’re using just shy of $30 million dollars projected for the new community college fund that would be funded with one-time licensing revenue in the gaming fund,” said Exec. Office of Admin and Finance budget director Michael Esmond.
In addition, the Gaming Commission is running on $15 million dollars of borrowed money from the state’s rainy day fund, which they will pay back after they issue the first gaming license.
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