On Feb. 21, 2013, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission held its 53rd public meeting. Highlights from the meeting included:
Region C Update
- The Commissioners briefly discussed next steps with respect to Region C, the Southeastern Massachusetts region, which is currently closed to any commercial casino facilities as the Mashpee Wampanoag pursue their land-in-trust application. The commissioners decided to focus their March 21 meeting (the first meeting after the expiration of the extension period) on the Region C issue, to have that meeting somewhere in Region C, and to solicit written comments and presentations from interested parties for that meeting. The Commission will be prepared to hold a vote at that March 21 meeting on next steps for Region C. Options include, among others, delaying the decision on how to proceed in Region C again or opening the region to commercial bid.
- MGC Director of Communications and Outreach Elaine Driscoll presented both a new informational video, which gives an overview of the Massachusetts Gaming Act and the Commission, as well as the MGC’s new website, which is currently up and running. Both the video and the new website were highly praised by the Commissioners, including with respect to their ability to further the Commission’s purpose of creating a fair, transparent and participatory licensing process and effectively communicating with the general public.
- Commissioner Cameron led the discussion on behalf of the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau. In connection with two applicants that had initially not specified the category of license applied for, the Commissioners briefly considered the issue of applicants switching gaming license categories (Category 1 resort casino vs. Category 2 slots-parlor). The commissioners all agreed that by the time the RFA-2 process begins, each applicant must have made a decision on the category of license. The commissioners also briefly discussed the processing of public records requests for applications submitted in connection with the RFA-1 process. The chairman and others acknowledged the confidentiality concerns of the applicants in connection with the public posting of submitted applications but also expressed confidence that confidentiality will be properly protected and promised ongoing consideration of this issue.
In addition to the above, the Commission adopted the Enhanced Code of Ethics and the Pari-mutuel and Simulcast recommendations of the Racing Division.