As the current series of license blocks in Massachusetts races on apace, the latest in American gambling news sees those companies who have bid for Greater Boston and Western Massachusetts licenses hedging their bets with bids in the South East. With Mashpee Wampanoag’s window of exclusivity now closed, Southeastern Massachusetts has found itself in the position of bridesmaid, but it does mean 9 of the biggest players will be looking into opening casinos in their region.
Currently Caesar’s, Foxwoods, Hardrock, Mohegan Sun, MGM, Penn National Gaming, Cordish Cos., Wynn, and Rush Street Gaming are bidding on one of the three licenses available elsewhere in the state: two casino and one slot parlor licenses. With two different groups and a Bridgewater landowner already expressing interest in building a casino in New Bedford, this signals the possibility for a hive of activity come 2014.
With online casinos in America only starting to emerge now, and restricted to their state of origin, gamblers across the country have to travel to land based casinos should they wish to game. With Delaware launching the first online casino – albeit only free play currently – already, and New Jersey, Nevada and California set to follow, other states will be watching on with interest.
Meanwhile, with American gambling laws meaning licenses can be few and far between, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has played upon that to get the best possible deal for “Region C”. Chairman Stephen Crosby agreed, saying: “That really enhances the competitive situation tremendously, and I think that’s a policy decision we absolutely should make.”
One player who could come back into the picture is the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal group. However, they would prefer a casino on tribal land in East Taunton, to be governed under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. With their land under trust application, that is their first choice, but should that application fail, they could return to the commercial casino license.