With the flurry of casino news emanating from Massachusetts, it did seem odd to hear the state’s new gaming commission saying that casino gambling is still 3 to 5 years away. It seems that perhaps the commissioners have been feeling the heat for that slow development plan, since they announced changes last week that would expedite the process and trim as much as six months off the timeline.
An article at MassLive.com describes the proposed changes to the licensing process, and quotes Stephen P. Crosby, chairman of the commission, saying “It would show people … that we are sensitive to this issue and we’re trying to think of everything we can think of to expedite the process without compromising anything material.”
While a two to six month improvement in the process is likely welcome news for the Massachusetts cities that are eyeing possible deals, I bet we haven’t heard the last of this push for quicker licensing and development in the state. Rival casino interests are popping up all over the eastern US, and the competitive environment could look quite a bit different five years from now. If the state hopes to lure mega-developments, it needs to be committed to a quick acceptance process, or those mega-bucks might just be committed to alternative locations.