Massachusetts Casino Process Continues On
The process of establishing casinos in Massachusetts took an important step this week/last week. The commission which oversees gambling in the state is now accepting applications from potential developers who want to build a casino. But some believe the process is not moving fast enough. New England Public Radio's Adam Frenier reports.
The commission estimates the process for approving casino projects will be completed between October 2013 and November 2014. Frank Callahan is the president of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council, which represents 75-thousand unionized construction workers. He says the thousands of jobs expected to go along with building casinos are needed now. Callahan says unemployment among construction workers is double the state's jobless rate. He says compared to other initiatives, there is no reason for the casino process to take this long.
"Health care reform in Massachusetts, which was passed back in 2006, was put into place for full implementation within 20 months. That's, I would argue, a far more and complex and far more comprehensive piece of legislation to implement.
Some of those involved in the decision-making process disagree. Stephen Crosby is the chair of the commission. He says his board has made a lot of progress in the relatively short about of time in which it has been meeting.
"We've issued 80 pages of (regulations) that will govern the first phase of the application process. We've had six education forums, 20 public meetings, so we've done a lot in the four months we've been here. We're trying to walk this line between moving quickly on one hand and being very prudent and not making a mistake."
nitial applications will be accepted for 90 days before the commission will review potential licensees. For New England Public Radio, I'm Adam Frenier.