SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - With 11 developers now officially in the running, what's next?
Phase II is a time-consuming process. The first big test for these developers is passing the background check, and that alone will take up to six months.
Eleven developers met the deadline, 4 with a specific interest in western Massachusetts.
Now the Mass. Gaming Commission will take an in-depth look at these developers' bank accounts, employment history and stock holdings.
Only after they pass the extensive background check, Phase II, with specific site plans, can begin.
Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby said in a news conference "A proposal can only come to the Gaming Commission after it's been approved by the local community. Approved means A. a host community agreement. B. a referendum on that host community agreement and c. a signed surrounding community agreement."
The Commissions' Chairman said they hope to begin Phase II this Summer.
The goal is to award the first slots parlor license by the end of 2013.
Then the first resort casino license would go out on or before February 26, 2014.
In the meantime, people can learn more about these developers because the Gaming Commission will make all Phase 1 applications public soon. But some people here in western Massachusetts told 22News they are still concerned about possibly negative effects of a casino.
Heather Strong who lives in West Springfield told 22News "Living in West Springfield, definitely wouldn't be a fan of the traffic. More traffic and trying to get my kids to school. I think it might make the commute in the morning a little more hectic."
Crosby said he is happy that so many developers are interested in MA. He said the commission is looking for proposals with maximum benefits of job creation and economic growth.