Following years of intense lobbying by the casino industry and several near misses in the Legislature, Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill legalizing casinos in Massachusetts on Nov. 22, 2011. The law allows for one casino in each of three regions in the state, with a single slots parlor that can be in any region. The legislation also created a five-member gambling commission to select and implement casino gambling in the state.
Here is a look at some upcoming milestones and key dates in bringing casino gambling to Massachusetts.
September 30, 2013: Deadline for Phase 1 casino applications in Region C (Southeastern Mass.), the first deadline in a two-phase application process in the region.
October 2013: Deadline for Phase 2 slots-parlor applications. Applicants must have deals in place with cities/towns and have those deals approved by voter referendum.
December 31, 2013: Deadline for Phase 2 casino applications in Region A (Eastern Mass.) and Region B (Western Mass.), the second deadline in the two-phase application process. Casino applicants must have deals in place with cities/towns and have those deals approved by voter referendum.
December 2013 to February 2014: The Mass. Gaming Commission expects to issue the state’s lone slots-only license.
April 2014: The commission expects to award two of the three licenses for casino reports (Eastern and Western Mass.) by this date.
July 2014: Anticipated deadline by the commission for Phase 2 casino application in Region C (Southeastern Mass.)
October-November 2014: The commission expects to award the Region C casino license.