There is enough demand in Massachusetts for the three casinos and one slots parlor called for under the new state gaming law, according to industry analysts advising the Massachusetts Gaming Commission at a public forum Thursday.
As the Boston Globe recaps:
Questions about whether the state could support all four facilities have been at the forefront of the public debate in recent weeks, after casino mogul Sheldon Adelson said in May that he would not bid to build a casino in his native state of Massachusetts because plans to license up to three resorts and a slot parlor would dilute the market.
But University of Massachusetts professor Martin Romitti, one of the analysts consulted by the commission for the Worcester forum, said there's enough money in Massachusetts to support four gambling sites.
"The sponge of four casinos probably isn't enough to sop up what the Massachusetts market offers," he said Thursday. "So that gives a real opportunity for the gaming commission to evaluate the different proposals and really look for the highest and best value."
Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby added that suggestions that three casinos might over-saturate the market will not slow down his panel's casino decisions.
"This has been something Massachusetts has been debating for 20 years, or something like that," he said. "People want the jobs and the commonwealth wants the money. We're going to move as quickly as we can, but we're going to be careful, too."
While speaking with WBUR last month, Crosby left open the possibility of the commission not approving all three casinos in the state, though he said he believes the state will eventually reach that threshold.
Thursday's forum follows one in May in which the commission discussed "best practices and lessons learned in gaming administration, regulation, and enforcement.”
The gaming commission's next public forum is Monday in Framingham. It'll be focused on how to mitigate the negative effects of gambling.
This program aired on June 15, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.