The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Monday unveiled draft regulations for the licensing process for proposed particular casino sites, in conjunction with detailed standards for evaluating applications for the gambling projects.
The state’s 2011 casino law left scores of crucial facts to be decided by gaming regulators, such as the election method for ballot questions on casinos, contents of applications, when the licensing fees must be submitted and the charges that must be incorporated when calculating the minimum $500 million investment for any casino resort.
Stephen P. Crosby, chairman with the commission, stated the draft regulations for licensing casinos resorts are scheduled to be finalized on June six, just after public hearings, time for comment and critique by municipal officials.
“This course of action offers everybody an opportunity to determine what we’re thinking about way ahead of time,” Crosby said following the meeting.
On an election procedure, as an example, the draft regulations state that Springfield should hold ballot inquiries around the very same day for both with the city’s estimated $800 million casino proposals – MGM Resorts inside the South Finish with the city and Penn National Gaming inside the North End – if the mayor decides to send both proposals to the ballot.
A separate ballot question will be required for every proposal, the draft regulations mentioned. A voter can check “yes” for both inquiries, “no” on each concerns or “yes” on 1 and “no” around the other, the regulations said.
The casino corporations or organization would must reimburse a host community for the cost of the election. The dates of your elections, including three in Western Massachusetts, are at the moment unclear, for the reason that they depend on when the commission completes background checks on casino applicants.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno is negotiating agreements, like impact costs and site visitors mitigation, with both casino companies, but has not decided but if just a single or each will probably be on the ballot for city voters. A casino proposal requirements approval of voters in a host neighborhood as a part of the state application course of action.
Based on the draft regulations, casino developers, when calculating expenses to meet the minimum $500 million capital investment, can not incorporate items including legal costs, infrastructure improvements outdoors the property boundaries of a casino web site along with the charges of buying land.
The regulations include things like 57 things that may be incorporated in applications for certain casino proposals such as regardless of whether the applicant includes a contract with labor unions, irrespective of whether it has the help of unions and facts on spend prices and added benefits for personnel and contractors.
For the duration of a nearly four-hour meeting in Boston, the five members in the commission reviewed the 53 pages of regulations and 11 pages of evaluation criteria practically line by line and agreed to vote on them through a meeting on Thursday.
Crosby mentioned the evaluation requirements for casinos will be integrated in applications that could be supplied to casino operators when “site specific” bidding starts this year.
The state’s casino law authorizes as much as three casino resorts in separate geographic regions which includes 1 for Western Massachusetts. The law also allows one slots facility that can be anywhere within the state.
The commission is involved inside a two-phase bidding method for casinos starting with background checks into the ethics and finances of casino applicants. It approved the regulations for the first phase final year and then place out requests for proposals for that very first phase.
The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has exclusive rights to get a casino in southeastern Massachusetts, however the gaming commission should take into consideration bids for a commercial casino in the region in the event the panel decides the U.S. Division on the Interior won’t approve land in trust for any tribal casino.
In Western Massachusetts, two other casino corporations are competing with MGM and Penn National for the region’s lone license.
The Mohegan Sun is proposing a casino on 152 acres close to Exit eight on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Palmer.
Hard Rock International is proposing a $700 million to $800 million casino resort in West Springfield around the grounds in the Eastern States Exposition, which holds a yearly 17-day Massive E fair.
Eleven corporations, such as those in Palmer, Springfield and West Springfield, every single paid a $400,000 nonrefundable application charge by a Jan. 15 deadline for the initial phase involving background checks. Seven companies are proposing casino resorts and 4 are proposing a slots facility.
Providers that pass background checks would then should file applications for particular sites, perhaps as early as June. The regulations for applying for particular sites had been released on Monday.
No neighborhood can finalize an agreement having a casino firm until the commission has determined that the corporation has passed the background investigation.
The commission plans to award the license for the slots facility sometime amongst September and December.
The commission is aiming to award the first resort casino license by February 2014.
Crosby stated the evaluation standards are “a heads-up” for casino applicants. “We want them to know that as quickly as you possibly can so they have the opportunity to conform to our criteria and requirements,” he stated.