Back in 2011, Massachusetts, the 7th smallest state in the US, dreading the thought of gambling making its way into the state. Stan Rosenberg recalls how he along with a team of legislators at the Patrick administration, were tasked with penning the new gaming law. Looking back now, he can confidently say they proved the doubters wrong. A total of $3.8 billion has already been invested by three companies so far and this figure is just on two casino venues and one slots parlour, which has created thousands of jobs in the last few years and that’s just in construction. MGM in Springfield has employed 3,000 people, the Plainridge slots parlour is looking to hire another 500 plus Encore Boston Harbour hopes to see another 5,000 people in work, if they’re given the go ahead to open the casino in June.
Stan believes that Everett is could hit a set-back despite the building already lighting up the night sky, what with the pending investigation from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on sexual misconduct within the company, yet to gather pace. The outcome of the investigation will determine whether or not a license will be granted. Many are hoping for rapid approval, but the governing body must carry out its investigation, in order to justify whether Encore and its parent company meet suitability requirements.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has another challenge ahead; regarding the south-eastern Massachusetts, or “Region C,” license. At the time of penning the license, Stan reveals how an outside expert was hired made it clear that allowing more than three resort-style casinos would lead to market saturation. Among those expected to pursue a casino, would be the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and if approved, Region C will be its one casino. Legislation has been filed recently by Congressman Bill Keating and Joe Kennedy, in favour if the tribal casino. But it would seem that the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe on Martha’s Vineyard want a change of scenery too, informing the commission of a proposed expansion onto the mainland.
Attempts by Neil Bluhm’s, Chicago billionaire who owns Mass Gaming and Entertainment would be futile according to Stan, given the unsettled tribal business. Another proposal which should be rejected is from Plainridge Park, who aim to expand into live table games. Sports betting is the last hurdle for the commission to face, with the governor and many others looking to bring sports betting facilities to the area as quickly as possible, to keep up with the 8 other states in America who already offer such services.