, Newburyport, MA


January 4, 2014

Tribe gets federal green light to pursue casino


State gambling regulators say they expect to spend the next several months evaluating final applications submitted by three companies hoping to win licenses to build the state’s first resort casinos.

As expected, Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International and Mohegan Sun filed detailed “Phase 2” applications with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission by Tuesday’s deadline.

Mohegan Sun and Wynn are vying for the only eastern Massachusetts resort casino license allowed under the 2011 law, while MGM is the only applicant in the state’s western region.

The law also allowed for one resort casino in southeastern Massachusetts, but gave first preference in that region to a federally-recognized Indian tribe — the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.

The gambling commission has said it would consider applicants for commercial developers in the southeastern region only if the tribe fails to show progress in securing needed federal approvals.

The commission is also weighing three applications submitted in October for the single slots parlor license, with a final decision expected in March.

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