Search Begins for Massachusetts Gaming Commission

Just weeks after Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a law that will allow up to three casinos into the state, state leaders are beginning the process of forming a gaming commission to oversee the emerging industry.

State officials have about four months to hand-pick a five-member gaming commission to develop and oversee the licensing process for casinos. The commission will be chaired by a gubernatorial appointee, and the attorney general and state treasurer will also each appoint one member. Treasurer Steven Grossman says he's enlisting the help of a group of financial and academic advisors to make his pick.

"The governor, the attorney general and I are looking at people with vision for running gaming and gambling in Massachusetts in a way that does not have any conflicts whatsoever, so we're looking for vision, wisdom, managerial expertise, five distinguished women and men who represent the best values of the people of this Commonwealth."

The three leaders will together decide on the two remaining members of the gaming commission. The commission must be bipartisan, with no more than three members from one political party. The state officials say they have a preference for commissioners with legal and policy experience related to gaming. There IS no guarantee they'll appoint a member from Western Massachusetts — where four major gambling companies are competing for a shot at the one license that the law allows west of Worcester. But Grossman says he hopes to receive applications from prospective commissioners all around the state. A lengthy application is available on the governor's web site.