Massachusetts gambling industry regulators said today they will be prepared to impose the terms of mitigation payments to the city of Boston from the developer of a proposed casino in a neighboring community. Boston is boycotting arbitration proceedings with Wynn Resorts – one of two competitors for the lone casino license in eastern Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will not delay a decision on awarding the state’s most lucrative casino license until after the state’s voters weigh in on the fate of casino gambling. It means the locations of proposed casinos will likely be settled by the time voters go to the polls in November.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has assigned the state’s first resort casino license to MGM. The entertainment industry giant got the go-ahead from the industry regulators today to build an $800 million casino in downtown Springfield, but a cloud of uncertainty still hangs over the project.
The unanimous vote by the five-member gaming commission was greeted with a standing ovation from more than 300 people who packed a ballroom inside the MassMutual Convention Center less than a block from where the casino would be built.
Massachusetts gaming industry regulators began a final review today of MGM’s proposed casino in Springfield. It is expected to conclude Friday with a decision to award the state’s first resort casino license.
Massachusetts Gaming Commissioners gave marks of “sufficient” to “outstanding” as they reported publicly on their evaluation of MGM’s application for a gaming license to build an $800 million casino in downtown Springfield.
Gaming industry regulators in Massachusetts have announced a revised timetable for issuing resort casino licenses. Delays are costing the state and municipal governments gaming revenue that budget writers had counted on receiving by now.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is on track to make a decision on June 13th to award the lone resort casino license in western Massachusetts. The commission chairman says he will be part of the decision- making process.
Chairman Stephen Crosby presided over the commission’s public hearing in Springfield Wednesday, the first public meeting for the gaming regulators since Crosby removed himself last week from any further role in the casino licensing process in the greater Boston area.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is scheduled to hold a final public hearing in Springfield today on the casino proposed by MGM. It is a last chance for commissioners to gauge public sentiment before completing a lengthy evaluation of the sole resort casino applicant in western Massachusetts.
Questions about ethics and possible conflicts of interest are clouding the effort to bring casino gambling to Massachusetts. There are calls for the chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to step down, and questions about the impartiality of a justice who will help decide if voters get a say on the fate of casinos.
Two western Massachusetts communities that went through an arbitration process to obtain payments intended to offset the impacts of a casino in Springfield appear to have done better financially than municipalities that accepted offers from casino giant MGM Resorts.
Longmeadow and West Springfield went to arbitration with MGM after failing to reach negotiated settlements with the casino company by an end-of- March deadline established by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. By then MGM had reached surrounding community agreements with six other municipalities.
After a two-year battle that left MGM Resorts International as the last competitor standing to build a resort casino in western Massachusetts, the entertainment giant now wants to delay the ultimate prize—a Massachusetts casino license. A leading anti-casino advocate says it’s a sign MGM is nervous about the prospect Massachusetts voters could repeal casino gambling in a statewide referendum.