Normally, it would be hard for any company to get a gambling license. But in Massachusetts, it’s been made to be like climbing a mountain – a very high mountain.
State gambling investigators have traveled to China to inspect casino operations there, studied more than 21,000 pages of background information on casino applicants, and spent $5 million in an attempt to weed out casino applicants who lack the personal integrity or financial strength to hold a gambling license in Massachusetts.
Some of the things being checked includes the background of company officers, key employees, and investors could result in one or more applicants being bounced from contention for casino development rights, even if they hold gambling licenses in other jurisdictions. Or, more likely, the gambling commission could insist that unsuitable people within the corporation be removed from the project. An example of that happened yesterday when The Massachusetts Gaming Commission disqualified the owners of the Plainridge Racecourse from pursuing the state’s sole slots parlor license because Plainridge’s owners failed to present “clear and convincing evidence as to business practices that will likely lead to a successful gaming operation.”
And who is paying for all of these background checks? The Casino companies! You see, The Mass Gaming Commission was very smart with asking each company $400,000 so that none of the state’s taxpayers would have to foot any of the bill – including money covering the communities involved and there preparation needs.
Meanwhile, the state gambling commission has billed the 11 original casino applicants more than $4.9 million for its investigations. The investigations are being performed by State Police, working with teams from two consulting firms, Spectrum Gaming and Michael & Carroll. The consulting teams include former FBI agents and public prosecutors, as well as forensic accountants. Everything is being considered important information, from family and friends, to even the tattoos of those involved.
As the deadlines continue to get closer, the commission continues to believe that the first casino chosen and built will be the slot parlor, by early 2015. They are running a tight ship in Massachusetts.
That’s all for now!