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Massachusetts Casinos Make Progress In 2012

Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Massachusetts: It’s been a little over a year since Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation authorizing the creation of up to three resort casinos and one slot parlor to operate in Massachusetts.
  But the Bay State is still a few years away from the first legal bet being placed.

WBUR reporter Steve Brown joined Morning Edition to look back at the progress and bumps along the way.

Bob Oakes: So what have been the key developments this past year when it comes to Casino Gambling?

Steve Brown: First and foremost, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission got up and running. That had to happen from scratch. Only the Chairman, Stephen Crosby was on board as of the first of this year. The rest of the commission, as well as the commission’s support staff had to be hired, they had to find office space, and they had to begin drafting the rules that will govern how the casino licenses will be awarded.

The Commission has held about 40 public meetings since early this year and seven educational forums. They’ve begun holding so called “scope of licensing” meetings with 11 potential developers. These meetings are the only opportunity for developers to sit down with the commission. So far, four of the developers have ponied up the $400,000, non-refundable application fee — think of it as the ante in for a poker game. The idea is those application fees should cover the administrative costs of running the commission.

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