Springfield Official Appointed to Mass. Gambling Panel
A Springfield Republican was appointed today to the five-member panel that will oversee the creation of a casino gambling industry in Massachusetts.
Springfield business development official Bruce Stebbins, who served in Governor William Weld's administration, was named to the commission, as was retired Judge James McHugh, of Boston. That fills out the panel's roster, allowing it to get to work hiring staff, and creating rules and regulations that will govern the casino application process.
So far four developers are preparing to compete for the single casino license that the legislation allows in the western part of the state. They have proposed casinos in Springfield, Palmer, Brimfield, and Holyoke. - and Stebbins appears to be aware that the commission's decisions could make a big impact on local economies.
"I think they'll have hopefully considerably the same job impact. I guess it's a question of how broad will the impact be for employment opportunities. Is somebody from Westfield going to be willing to drive how far to take a job in a different part of the state? ... I think that varies by region."
Stebbins, who ran unsuccessfully for state representative as a Republican in 1991, served two terms on the Springfield City Council and has worked for the city since 2010. Stebbins also worked as associate director of political affairs in the White House under President George H.W. Bush. Like the rest of the now complete panel, Stebbins says he does not gamble.