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.
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.
The fate of casino gambling in Massachusetts may hinge on a case that was argued before the justices of the state’s highest court in Boston this morning.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard an hour of oral arguments Monday morning on whether a question should be allowed on the November ballot asking voters if the 2011 law that opened the state to Las Vegas-style gambling should be repealed.
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.
The effort to bring casino gambling to Massachusetts,which began almost two-and-a-half years ago, has hit some speed bumps along the way. Gambling opponents believe they still have a chance to shut down the fledgling industry in Massachusetts.
Supporters and opponents of MGM’s $800 million casino project in Springfield had a final chance last night to sound-off in front of Massachusetts gaming industry regulators. The state gaming commission held a final public hearing in Springfield as it prepares to award the lone casino license in western Massachusetts where MGM Springfield is the only applicant.
As Massachusetts moves closer to issuing the state’s first casino licenses a potential referendum battle is looming.
Anti-casino leaders are busy developing a campaign strategy to persuade Massachusetts voters to repeal the state’s 2011 gaming law that authorized casino gambling. Steve Abdow, a member of the leadership team of the Repeal the Casino Deal ballot initiative said the message will be pretty straightforward.
" It's really a matter of education. If people understand the negative impact and that the casinos won't deliver what is promised."