Expanded Gaming legislation allows three resort casinos and one slot facility. The Gaming Commission can offer up to three casino licenses, divided by region, and one slot facility license with up to 1,250 slot machines bid competitively statewide. The three casino regions are:
Eastern Region - consisting of Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex, Norfolk and Worcester counties;
Southeastern Region - consisting of Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties; and
Western Region - consisting of Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.
The state will receive revenue from a 25 percent tax on casino revenues and a 40 percent tax on the slots facility revenues. The collected revenues would be used to fund essential state and local services, including public safety, education, transportation, public health, debt reduction, local aid, and the stabilization fund.
Licensing fees collected by the state - at least $85 million for each casino and $25 million for the slot facility license - would be used for community mitigation, local capital projects, community colleges, tourism, and other municipal needs. Any applicant approved for a license must agree to minimum investments of $500 million for a casino and $125 million for the slot facility license, with an upfront 10 percent deposit.
The legislation contains strong community aid and mitigation provisions requiring the Gaming Commission to work with municipalities on reducing potential negative effects brought on by a gaming establishment. Most importantly, no gaming facility would be built in a community without the residents of that community approving a project in a referendum vote.
The legislation also provides protections for local business, requiring gaming facilities to negotiate agreements to level the playing field in terms of live entertainment and other cultural-related events.
Protections for Individuals
Individual protections in the legislation allow for voluntary betting limits and exclusions from gaming establishments. Additionally, casino are required to provide mandatory monthly win/loss statements to anyone who is a rewards card holder. Family members can also petition to have a relative banned from a facility if there are signs of addiction.
The legislation establishes a strict law enforcement and regulatory structure, with the enforcement of gaming laws falling upon dedicated state police and attorney general units, which will collaborate with local police from any host community. The independent Gaming Commission will oversee and regulate casino and slot gaming in the Commonwealth. It will consist of governor, attorney general and treasurer appointees who must have experience in legal and gaming policy, law enforcement and finance. Local law enforcement will have concurrent jurisdiction over all non-gaming crimes. The Gaming Commission would negotiate MOU with local police department regarding public safety requirements (in consultation with the State Police).
The legislation recognizes federal tribal rights and authorize the government to contract with Native American tribes before casino license applications are submitted. There are currently two federally recognized tribes in Massachusetts: the Mashpee Wampanoag and the Aquinnah.
All potential employees must provide any criminal history to the Gaming Commission. The bill prevents all public employees - whether state, local or elect - who worked on expanded gaming legislation or are involved in any negotiations for the licensing of gaming establishment from seeking a job at a casino for at least one year after leaving their job.
State Gaming Law Process
If you have any questions about the process, you can contact us.