Applications became available for the second and final phase of the resort casino vetting process, as announced Monday by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), but there still is no certainty this week as to when Suffolk Downs might be able to fill out that application.
The Phase 2 applications are considered unique to the gaming industry as they require a very thorough vetting of the plans and the financing for any resort casino applicant. However, no current applicant who has made it through Phase I will be able to take out that application until they have completed host community agreements and a ballot question referendum.
In Everett, Wynn Resorts likely will complete that process this Saturday, June 22nd, if a referendum vote passes there. If it does pass, Wynn will likely be able to begin the Phase 2 process as soon as they are given the green light by the MGC concerning the Phase 1 process.
For Suffolk, a snag in the host community agreement negotiations with Boston has stalled the progress – prohibiting Suffolk Downs from even thinking about the Phase 2 process until probably the end of the summer or even the fall.
Completed applications for Phase 2 will have to be submitted to the MGC by Dec. 31st at 2 p.m.
In a release from the MGC on Monday, it was stressed that the MGC is looking for something very unique that will draw residents and tourists to the development.
“The Phase 2 application was designed by MGC as a vehicle for each applicant to demonstrate that it has thought broadly and creatively about creating an innovative and unique gaming establishment in Massachusetts that will create synergy with, and provide a significant and lasting benefit to, the residents of the host community,” read the release in part.
MGC Chairman Steve Crosby said, “Since the Commission’s inception a little more than a year ago, we have been steadfast in our efforts to fully develop and articulate a vision, rooted in the expanded gaming legislation, of how our new gaming industry should be conceived and implemented in the Commonwealth. I believe that this site specific, detailed application will solicit from the competing gaming applicants, the most innovative, regionally compatible, and economically significant development plans possible, assuring the people of the Massachusetts and the Commission a range of options that will ultimately maximize the benefits of expanded gaming to our Commonwealth.”
The Phase 2 application is 236 pages long and is broken up into eight sections, with five of those sections being significant. Those five sections include an overview of the project, financing, economic development, building/site design, and mitigation.
Before an applicant can turn in a Phase 2 application, it must get a positive determination of suitability from the MGC (Phase 1 process completion), provide an executed host community agreement, and a certified copy of the affirmative election results from a community referendum vote.
Licenses for resort casinos in Region A and B are expected to be awarded in spring 2014.