Public hearing scheduled for Gifford’s gaming bill
The Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies is now accepting comments from the public about State Rep. Susan Williams Gifford’s bill regarding the Gaming Commission.
The bill, House Bill 4070, is titled “An Act relative to the authority of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission,” and would allow the commission to explore different casino licensing options for Region C.
Currently, the only license available in the state is for a full resort casino. That license is only available for “Region C,” the only region left in the state without a resort casino, which includes much of the South Coast and Cape Cod.
Notos Group’s proposed Wareham Park would be a slots-only casino, similar to Plainridge Park in Plainville.
If Gifford’s bill passes, the Gaming Commission could choose to offer a slots-only license instead if the commission agrees that would meet the Massachusetts legislature’s goals in passing the 2011 Expanded Gaming Act, which aimed to boost the economy across the state.
If the bill is passed and the Commission decides to offer a slots-only license, there would be a bidding process, allowing multiple applicants to compete for the license. Should Wareham Park be awarded the license, there would still be several necessary steps for approval at the town level.
There will be a public hearing in the Massachusetts State House, Room 437, from 1 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 22. Anyone can give testimony. Speaking time is limited to three minutes.
Written testimony may also be submitted to the House and Senate Chairs of the committee. Comments can be sent to Senator Eric P. Lesser by mail to State House, Room 413, Boston, MA 02133, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante by mail to State House, Room 42, or by email to email@example.com.
Questions and requests for further information about the hearing may be sent to Rep. Gifford, who can be reached at her Boston office by calling 617-722-2100, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.