SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The question everyone wants answered is when will people be able to legally roll the dice in Massachusetts.
Casinos are on their way to Massachusetts and the state's gaming commission is getting specific as to when.
At its meeting Tuesday, the Commission announced a casino license will be awarded no later than February of 2014.
At that time, the chosen developer will get the green light to make their plan a reality.
Industry experts say once that process has begun, it could take up to 3 years to actually build the casino.
At that rate, casino doors could open in 2016 or 2017.
A timeline Springfield's Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy says is what he expected.
"If we can get a license by the end 2013, you're then looking at architectural drawings to take 6-12 months, then you're looking at a construction period of 24-30 months so it's sometime in 2016 early 2017, that's probably accurate," Kennedy said.
Springfield is one of several communities competing to be the host city.
Some residents say after years of talking about it, they just want it done right no matter how long it takes.
"Before you know it, it'll be 2017 and we want it built safely, weatherized, a good, sound structure building.
Everyone would benefit from it," said Springfield's Debra Murray.
Mohegan Sun in Palmer, Penn National, Hard Rock, Ameristar and MGM in Springfield are just five of the gaming companies competing for the license.
MGM's President, Bill Hornbuckle, hopes if they're chosen, the process moves as efficiently as possibly.
"We're not delivering real jobs to the community until 2016, 2017 that's a reality. We just hope it goes sooner rather than later," Hornbuckle said.
Springfield has already put out its request for proposals.
Operators have until October 11th to respond.