CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - The saying 'better late than never' doesn't fly with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Thursday they denied four requests for extensions to submit casino applications.
Casino applications and the non-refundable $400,000 fee were due Tuesday. But the city of Chicopee and two Holyoke developers wanted more time to get in on the casino competition.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is moving forward with the casino selection process-- and they're only considering companies that abided by the rules. The commission denied requests for more time from the city of Chicopee and two Holyoke developers Thursday.
"It's quite a task. It's a big project to develop a casino anywhere. If they showed they weren't ready for they right now at the beginning in this stage what would happen if they get in the process?" said Roberto Rivera of West Springfield.
After changing his tune regarding a casino in his city, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse supports the commission standing by their deadline.
"As I said in my letter, paper city development and other companies have had plenty of time and I agree with the decision. It would be against be public will and unfair to the other companies," said Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.
But even if latecomers had been granted more time, some people think it'd be hard to compete with companies that have been in the running for months.
"Actually I think it benefits them because they have been spending so much time and money. It gives them more exposure. I don't think somebody coming in late would hurt them at all," said Sean Wylie of Springfield.
But there's still time for companies who submitted applications to change their plans...
"I want to let developers and operators that have applied but don't have a site set in stone yet or those that do have a site and are looking for another option Chicopee is open for business," said Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said tonight he is pleased the Gaming Commission stuck with their regulations. He said it would have been unfair to the casino companies that have been working with Springfield for well over a year.