CASINOS

When it comes to real estate, the old phrase “location, location, location” still applies.

And for many, there’s no better real estate than along the water. That includes along the Mystic River in Everett.

That’s where workers for the planned Wynn casino are transforming what had been home to industrial chemical plants into a glittering, 27-floor Las Vegas-style casino.

But as the tower rises — it’s now up to five floors — focus is on the ground and along the water when it comes to mitigating the effects of climate change.

Construction of the MGM casino in Springfield, Mass., as of Oct. 2016.
Don Treeger / The Republican

New legislation allowing Massachusetts casinos to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. gives them a competitive advantage over gambling facilities in several neighboring states.

With approval from regulators, the Bay State could allow casinos to serve booze several hours later than any other New England state with legal gambling.

Casinos in Connecticut and Rhode Island must stop selling alcohol at 2 a.m. on weekends, and 1 a.m. during the week. In Maine, they can serve until 1 a.m.

People playing the slot machines at the Plainridge Park Casino
Don Treeger / The Republican

As some high profile Massachusetts politicians criticize recent legislation that paves the way for casinos in the commonwealth to serve alcohol until 4 a.m., elected officials in communities where resort casinos will operate are generally supportive of the law.

The change allows the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to issue liquor licenses allowing casinos to serve alcohol to people gambling on casino floors until 4 a.m. The new time, which amounts to a two-hour extension, was included in the state budget Governor Charlie Baker signed into law.

People playing the slot machines at the Plainridge Park Casino
Don Treeger / The Republican

Net revenue at the first casino to open in Massachusetts was essentially flat in the first quarter of 2017 compared to last year.

The total at the Plainridge slots parlor from January to March was roughly $38 million. The information was presented Wednesday at a meeting of the state gaming commission.

Prosecutors in Massachusetts have to make some decisions by Tuesday. That's their deadline to decide whether to follow through with the thousands of cases that were tainted by the 2012 scandal at a state drug lab, where a chemist repeatedly falsified her analysis of evidence. Many of the cases could be thrown out.

We spoke to reporter Matt Murphy of the State House News Service. He said 24,000 convictions may have been compromised.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno speaks during a press conference on the MGM construction site on March 29, 2017.
Henry Epp / NEPR

The head of MGM Springfield said Wednesday that he's not concerned about the possible impact online gambling could have on the casino business. The potential legalization of online gambling was the subject of a hearing at the Massachusetts state house this week.

"We think brick-and-mortars can co-exist with online. But it's got to be like anything else," Mathis said. "It's got to be studied, regulated and evaluated and they need our input -- they need the industry's input."

Mathis said MGM would look to operate online gambling in Massachusetts if it becomes legal.

Construction of the MGM casino in Springfield, Mass., as of Oct. 2016.
Don Treeger / The Republican

What made The Short List this week?

Construction of the MGM casino in Springfield, Mass., as of Oct. 2016.
Don Treeger / The Republican

A recent Government Accountability Office report recommends the military begin screening for potential gambling issues. This is all the more important in Massachusetts, which opened its first slots parlor in 2015 and has two resort casinos under construction.

Sean Murphy has covered this story for the Boston Globe. He said military officials don’t think gambling’s a problem among service members.

Construction of the MGM casino in Springfield, Mass., as of Oct. 2016.
Don Treeger / The Republican

A recent Government Accountability Office report recommends the military begin screening for potential gambling issues. This is all the more important in Massachusetts, which opened its first slots parlor in 2015 and has two resort casinos under construction.

Sean Murphy has covered this story for the Boston Globe. He said military officials don’t think gambling’s a problem among service members.

Play-Doh will be made in East Longmeadow, Mass.
MASSLIVE

What made The Short List this week?

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