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Massachusetts Delays Decision on Third Casino License for Mashpee Proposal

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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has pushed its decision on a potential third casino in southeastern Massachusetts, referred to as "Region C", to the end of April, to allow time to weigh the Mashpee Wampanoag’s March 15 presentation on their proposed Project First Light Resort & Casino.

Because Massachusetts' law passed in 2011 permits “up to” three resort casinos, the commission can elect not to award a third casino license in Region C. Licenses have already been handed out to MGM for a resort casino in Springfield and to Wynn Resorts for a casino in Everett, just outside of Boston.

A tribal casino has been a “critical variable” in the commission's deliberation over awarding a third casino license in Southeastern Massachusetts, Gaming Commission chairman Stephen Crosby told masslive.com.

Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming and Mass Gaming & Entertainment LLC are competing with the tribe for the Region C license, proposing a $677 million casino at Brockton Fairgrounds.

Under the terms of the tribe's compact with Massachusetts, the tribe would pay nothing to the state if a commercial casino is licensed in Southeastern Massachusetts. But without the Brockton facility, the tribe has agreed to pay 17 percent of its gross gaming revenues to the state. A second casino in Southeastern Massachusetts would create “a far weaker gaming market,” Howard Cooper, an attorney for the tribe, wrote in an eight-page letter detailing the state’s Expanded Gaming Act and the tribal-state compact, reported southcoasttoday.com.

The tribe will present its casino proposal at their government headquarters in Mashpee on March 15.