On August 9, 2013, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (“MGC”) held its 74th Public Meeting. The highlight of the meeting was the MGC’s discussion of Phase 3 of the Massachusetts casino process. Phase 3 regulations will govern the operations of each successful licensee’s gaming facility.
These regulations will include rules related to blackjack , poker, roulette, craps, manual and automated dice shakers and other gaming equipment, security procedures and employee licensing. Deputy General Counsel Todd Grossman explained that the MGC is still developing these regulations and has begun communications with gaming consultants to help lay out the appropriate next steps.
Grossman asked the MGC for guidance on how comprehensive the regulations should be. For example, he encouraged the Commissioners to consider whether they wish to prescribe exactly how blackjack is played in Massachusetts, or if they want to simply lay out a few ground rules and allow casino operators to determine their own controls. MGC Chairman Stephen Crosby stressed that there must be a systematic approach to this process and seemed to suggest that a more comprehensive approach to the rules would be preferable.
The discussion of the Phase 3 regulations will continue at the next meeting, where Grossman will introduce a few key policy issues that the MGC will need to address while continuing the conversation regarding the form these regulations should take.
Ombudsman John Ziemba also described the type of community outreach applicants are currently engaged in. Ziemba explained that the MGC will ask for written narratives from each of the applicants to explain specifically how they plan to interact with the community and whether they will use the services of regional planning agencies to help plan and carry out community and economic development improvements in their jurisdictions.