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Gaming commission pushes back timeline for casino licenses

Story by Gerry Tuoti-  Sandwich Wicked Local Newsbank Editor

Posted Apr. 9, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

Updated Apr 9, 2014 at 12:17 PM


The casino licensure timeline is getting pushed back in metro Boston and southeastern Massachusetts.

The state Gaming Commission met April 3 and took actions that will likely delay casino license awards in Greater Boston and southeastern Massachusetts to at least August 2014 and February 2015, respectively

The commission decided April 3 to delay the second-phase application deadline for commercial casino proposals in southeastern Massachusetts to at least Sept. 23.

Chairman Stephen Crosby said commissioners will likely set the exact deadline at its next meeting, when it will also likely decide whether to waive the $500 million minimum investment requirement in an effort to encourage more applications. Such a move will push the license award date back to at least February 2015.

“It would send a signal to them that we’re not forcing them to submit an application that isn’t as fully developed as they would like it to be,” Gaming Commission Ombudsman John Ziemba said.

The decision came after the commission got letters from applicant KG Urban and the city of New Bedford requesting an extension. Fall River, which hopes to strike a deal with Foxwoods for a commercial casino, opposed a deadline extension.

“I think we’re stuck with extending it some because we’d get no proposals with the current deadline,” Crosby said.

The commission previously targeted July as the second-phase application deadline and November as the licensure date.

Uncertainty over the Mashpee Wampanoag’s efforts to build a tribal casino in Taunton is likely a factor in the southeastern market, he added.

The Gaming Commission also voted April 3 to hold a meeting on May 1 to gather input regarding Boston’s request to be considered a host community for the Revere and Everett casino proposals. The question, Gaming Commission attorney Todd Grossman said, centers around how to define the “premises of a gaming establishment.”


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