«MGM Applies for Casino License Delay
Whether MGM Resorts will lose $200m will now depend on the decision that is to be made by Massachusetts gaming regulators. MGM is planning on building a casino in Springfield which is reported to cost the casino firm over $40m. The casino operator has already asked the authority to slow down and put off issuing them a casino license. If the decision is made not in MGM’s favor, the operator will have to obey the terms of the contract and pay deposits, license fees and various payments in the nearest three months. More than one third of this sum, which is $85m, will be nonrefundable. There is another obstacle as well. Anti-casino activists have made their appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Their target is to review the state’s casino legislation that was approved in 2011. Last year Martha Coakley, the state Attorney General rejected their appeal in spite of all the collected signatures the number of which was sufficient to hold a referendum. The Attorney’s ruling has been redirected to the Court and now the Repeal group is looking forward to finding out the result of their appeal in July.
MGM has appealed to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). The operator’s argument is that now it is up for the Court to first decide whether MGM will have permission to construct an $800m worth casino. As long as permission to build the casino is not given, MGM is not supposed to cough up the calculated $200m. Michael Mathias, the official representative of MGM in Springfield, is certain that a provisional license issued by MGC would let the operator have the advantage of western Massachusetts. At the same time it would be of great use in case the Repeal group achieves victory in court. MGM’s request is still under the MGC’s consideration.
Boston Mayor Tells Crosby Not to Interfere
Who gets awarded the sole casino license for the Boston area is still being considered by MGC. However, Boston mayor is more than sure that Stephen Crosby, MGC chairman should not participate in the process. It all started in December when Caesars Entertainment sued Crosby. According to Caesars, Crosby gave his preference to Wynn Resorts over Caesars merely because the former was interested in building on sites belonging to Crosby’s ex-business partner.
Last Thursday Elizabeth Dello Russo, the city attorney, sent a letter to the MGC urging that MGC chairman Stephen Crosby should not interfere with the controls. And Caesars’ lawsuit was not the only reason. Some certain Crosby’s comments on the city’s host community status also influenced the attorney’s decision. Wynn Resorts and Mohegan Sun have suggested building their casinos in the suburbs, close to the East Boston and Charlestown areas. In March, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh explained how these areas might be impacted on by casinos warrants appealed by the sites. It is reported that Dello Russo has been proposed to address Walsh’s concerns next week at the MGC’s meeting. However, in her letter the attorney expressed her great distrust in the Commission and its ‘unfair’ approach in resolving the problem and accused MGC of trying to draw a veil over the proceedings when the boss participates.