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Massachusetts Casino Bill 2011

An Act Establishing Expanded Gaming in the Commonwealth

The Massachusetts law establishing expanded gaming in the state was created by House Bill H3807 with amendment by Senate document 2035. It passed the legislature Nov 14, 2011 and was signed into law by the governor Nov 22, 2011.

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Key Provisions

  • Establishment of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC)
    This is a 5-member commission. The governor appoints its chairman, the state attorney general appoints one member with law enforcement experience, the state treasurer appoints one member with finance experience, and the governor, attorney general and the treasurer together appoint the last two members.

  • The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will license three casinos and one slots-only casino in the state.

  • The 3 casinos will be divided into 3 separate regions. Region A includes Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk and Worcester counties; Region B is Western Massachusetts; and a Region C is the southeast including New Bedford, Fall River, Cape Cod and the South Shore. The slots-only casino can be built anywhere in the state.

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UPDATE - August 15, 2012:
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced it will not consider applications for a commercial casino in the southeastern region because the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is on schedule to develop a tribal casino in Taunton. This decision does not exclude a slots parlor in that region.

  • Casino bidders must commit to invest at least $500 million in each facility. The slots-only casino must pledge a $125 million investment.

  • Casino bidders must pay an $85 million licensing fee. The slots-only casino requires a $25 million licensing fee.

  • The casino application fee is a non-refundable $400,000.

  • The three casinos will pay the state 25 percent of their gambling revenue. The slots-only casino will pay 49 percent.

  • Each casino must be approved by local voters.

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Licensing Schedule

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has announced its preliminary schedule for accepting applications and issuing casino licenses. A formal announce is expected to follow in August 2012.

  • Now to mid-October 2012
    The commission began accepting a non-refundable $400,000 application fees from gambling companies. Upon payment the companies are certified as applicants and allowed to meet with state agencies regarding environmental or transportation permits.

  • Mid-October 2012 to mid-November 2012
    The MGC will issue the form "Requests for Applications RFA-1" to prequalify bidders based on their finances and background checks.

  • January to May 2013
    RFA-1 applications must be completed and submitted to the Commission.

  • April to November 2013
    The Commission will review the completed RFA-1 applications and issue a second form "Request for Applications RFA-2" to the applicants that successfully qualified.

  • July 2013 to May 2014
    Applicants will complete and submit their form RFA-2 along with local community agreements before the end of this period.

  • October 2013 to February 26, 2014
    The Commission will review the RFA-2 applications and grant casino licenses by February 26, 2014.

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