Early Advantage For Plainville During First Day Of Mass. Slots Parlor Hearings

Gambling regulators in Massachusetts have started to publicly score the three bids to open a slots parlor in the state. By the end of the week, one of the applicants is expected to win the license – the first awarded by the Gaming Commission since the legislature passed a casino law.

A proposal from Leominster received praise from the panel for its design and finances. But Commissioner James McHugh raised one red flag.

“The concern does exist that the applicant’s schedule to open the facility by the end of 2014 is overly optimistic,” McHugh said. “And that coordination of the permitting and construction could delay the opening for three to six months.”

A proposal in Plainville scored slightly better than Leominster’s during the first day of evaluations, with a plan for Raynham trailing behind.

Commissioners will continue to present scorecards on a variety of criteria for the next couple days, with a slots parlor license awarded by Friday. Later this spring, the panel is scheduled to award licenses for two larger, resort-style casinos.

New England Public Radio’s Sam Hudzik and Henry Epp contributed to this report.