PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) - The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will allow cities and towns to have referendum votes on proposed casinos, before the commission's vetting process is over.
In a meeting at Pathfinder Regional High School in Palmer on Thursday, the Commission voted to allow the community votes before the Commission completes its background checks on all the companies and investors.
In order for a community to do this, its mayor, city or town councils would have to approve it, and there would have to be a public education campaign. Then a host community agreement must be reached. After that, the developer can ask for a referendum to be held. That would have to take place between 60-90 days after the referendum is requested.
22News spoke with Springfield's Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy Thursday afternoon. He told 22News the city still does not have a host community agreement in place and understands that time is running out to get a deal done to have a June 25 th vote. He did say it is still a possibility. Although this vote will help speed the process along.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission did say that if a city held a referendum and approved a project, that if some investors were to be found unsuitable, the developer would have to remove the interest from the project. The referendum would be upheld.
The MGC did say that they are not sure when these background checks will be completed, but for the resort style casinos, it is not likely be done by the end of June.