Mass. gaming panel votes not to delay licensing process
THE MASSACHUSETTS GAMING COMMISSION has chosen not to delay the process of awarding the Boston-area casino license until after the November vote on a potential repeal of the state's gambling law. Above, an artist's rendering of the proposed $1.3 billion Mohegan Sun casino, which is competing with Wynn Resorts Ltd.'s $1.6 billion casino project for the Boston-area license.
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Wednesday unanimously voted not to delay the Boston-area casino licensing process until after voters decide the question of whether the 2011 law allowing casinos in the state should be repealed, the Associated Press reported.
Denying the request by Boston city officials for a delay, the commissioners upheld arguments by Mohegan Sun and Wynn Resorts Ltd., the two developers competing for the sole Boston-area license, that voters will be better informed about the ballot question in November if the licensing process goes forward.
The 2011 law permits three casinos and one slots-parlor in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has already awarded the western Massachusetts casino license to MGM Resorts International, while Plainridge Park Casino holds the slots-parlor license.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission expects to award the Boston-area license by September, the AP said, and will choose between Mohegan Sun’s proposed $1.3 billion casino in Revere and Wynn Resorts’ $1.6 billion casino planned for Everett.
The outcome of a November ballot question on the repeal of Massachusetts’ gambling law could affect Twin Rivers Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island’s largest casino, which faces direct competition from the Plainridge slots parlor, as well as Newport Grand, which has potential competition from casino proposals in Fall River and Taunton.
A recent Boston Globe report shows that repeal could also have a significant impact in Massachusetts, where state legislators accounted for about $75 million in revenue from the new casinos and slots parlor in the fiscal 2015 budget. A Globe poll conducted last month found 52 percent of respondents would keep the law, while 41 percent would vote to repeal.