Goodwin Gaming
October 7, 2013

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Approves Two Applicants to Advance to the Next Stage of the Process

By Abim Thomas and Robyn Burleson

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has had a flurry of adjudicatory hearings in September and October as it progresses in the licensee vetting process.

Commission Approves Suitability of Penn National

On September 18-19, 2013, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission held an adjudicatory hearing to determine the suitability of Penn National’s application for a slot parlor. Karen Wells, the Commission’s Director of Investigations and Enforcement, began the hearing by briefing the commissioners on details regarding other Penn National facilities across the United States, and revealed that the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau had determined that Penn National exhibits stable financial suitability.

Executives from Penn National then had the chance to present the Commission with a brief background of its 28 corporate facilities and approximately 19,000 employees. The Commission also heard from a handful of witnesses. On October 3, the Commission issued a positive determination of suitability to Penn National.

Commission Approves Suitability of Mohegan Sun Massachusetts

The Commission’s 78th public meeting on October 3 kicked off with a hearing to determine the suitability of resort-casino applicant Mohegan Sun Massachusetts. Mohegan Sun representatives briefed the commissioners regarding its Massachusetts Gaming background investigation report, then gave commissioners a chance to ask questions about the report. Chairman Crosby asked the Mohegan Sun team to discuss their audit and compliance operations, as well as their transition from tribal to commercial gaming.

At the end of the hearing, the Commission voted unanimously to issue a positive determination of suitability to Mohegan Sun, which allows the applicant to proceed with the Phase 2 application.  This is in contrast to past adjudicatory hearings during which applicant suitability was taken under advisement with a determination following at a later date.