uly 18, 2012
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission yesterday issued an advisory for communities that may qualify as "host" or "surrounding" communities in a proposal for a gaming license.
"In order to support the many communities across Massachusetts that are being approached by private developers about the possibility of developing a gaming facility within or near their borders," the advisory states, "the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is offering various kinds of general advice and technical support."
The three-page advisory outlines the tentative licensing schedule and technical assistance available to host and surrounding communities.
The schedule "is published only for the purpose of giving potential host and surrounding communities a general sense of schedule, with which they can assess the urgency of their need to comply with developers' requests," the advisory states.
The first stage in the application process is scheduled to begin this fall.
The gaming bill signed by the governor last November permits up to three full-scale casinos in different regions of the state plus a single slot machine-only facility.
The law created the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to license and oversee new gaming operations.
While it may take several years before casino doors open, cities and towns that would host or are near a possible site are seeing a surge of activity as developers prepare applications for submission to the Gaming Commission.
The law requires applicants to identify the impact of their project on local infrastructure and to provide a signed agreement between the host community and the applicant, including a community impact fee. It also requires eligible applicants to commit to an agreement and impact fee with surrounding cities and towns.
An eligible applicant must also have received a favorable vote at a local election in the host municipality. The gaming commission will hold a public hearing on any application.
The three regions of the state where a full-scale casino could be located are the following: the five eastern counties (Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex, Norfolk and Worcester), western Massachusetts (Hampshire, Hampden, Franklin and Berkshire counties), and the southeastern part of the state (Bristol, Plymouth, Nantucket, Dukes and Barnstable counties).
"The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is committed to a ‘fair, transparent, and participatory' process in awarding the gaming licenses across the Commonwealth," the advisory states.
• Download "Advisory to Massachusetts communities that may qualify as ‘host' or ‘surrounding' communities under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 23 in a proposal for a gaming license (1.6M PDF)
Written by MMA Publications/Web Director John Ouellette