State Gaming Commission Reconsiders Reopening Region C

Rendering of stalled Mashpee Wampanoag casino project

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is seeking input from Southeastern Massachusetts residents on whether or not to reopen Region C to award a casino license.

The move comes after the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe fights to retain its land into trust status, thwarting plans for a $1 billion First Light Casino & Resort in Taunton.

Massachusetts Gaming Attorney Catherine Blue recently told commissioners that they would need to develop a process for reconsidering proposals, after Mass Gaming & Entertainment, a company which sought to construct a Brockton casino, asked the commission to re-evaluate its application.

“There is no process for reconsideration and if the commission wanted to consider that they would need to think about what that process could look like and then we would have to draft regulations and promulgate them,” Blue said.

Current regulations would require that awarding a new license would have to go through a competitive process.

Commissioners would need to change regulations to award a license without a competitive process.

“If the commission wished to change that process it would be along the same lines – you would need to consider what that would look like, the circumstances in which you would invoke that process and then what regulations you would use to support that,” Blue said.

Commission member Enrique Zuniga said he was not in favor of changing any regulations in the near future.

Zuniga believes a market assessment should be completed to determine if a casino in the region is needed.

“I would be in favor of really proceeding with consultants, procurements or what have you relative to initially making an assessment of these markets.”

The Plainridge Park Casino with a horse racing track and MGM Springfield have recently opened in the state and Encore Boston is expected to open next summer.

The comment period is open through November 30.

To submit comments, visit the Mass Gaming Commission’s website here.

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