MGM to Casino Regulators: Don’t Delay

MGM is urging the Massachusetts Gaming Commission not to delay its timeline for awarding resort casino licenses.

The company appears to be the sole remaining bidder for the western Massachusetts license after voters in Palmer this week rejected a plan from Mohegan Sun by 93 votes.

MGM’s Michael Mathis told the commission Thursday that competition with other states is just one reason to stay with the current schedule.

“New York just passed expanded gaming,” Mathis says. “There’s going to be incoming competition in upstate New York and that’s a market that we plan to go after. We like to be first to market. Our experience is first to market, you create a database and you’re more competitive. So I would really encourage the commission to try to keep to these timelines, because I think – overall – it would benefit the commonwealth and certainly benefit a project like ours.”

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission plans to award resort casino licenses by April of next year.

The commission’s chairman, Stephen Crosby, on Wednesday noted that MGM does not have a lock on a license. Crosby said the company still must pass a background check and submit a final application for its downtown Springfield casino.

It also must negotiate deals with surrounding towns to help offset increased traffic and public safety costs.