The state’s 2011 gaming law designated certain levels and types of gaming activity in specific regions of the state. Half of the South Shore falls in Region C which includes the Cape and Islands, Bristol and Plymouth Counties. Norfolk County is in Region A. There are two categories of facilities.
The South Shore Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently endorsed House Bill 4070, An Act Relative to the Authority of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which will allow the gaming commission to consider a Category 2 license as well as a Category 1 license in the region. The Chamber covers approximately 25 communities along Route 3; about half of which are in Region C.
The goal of the Expanded Gaming Act in 2011 was to promote economic development and job creation throughout the state. Specifically, this law allowed up to three destination resort casinos located in three geographically diverse regions across the state and a single slots facility at one location statewide. Today, destination resort casinos are up and running in Regions A & B, with a slots facility also operating in Region A.
The Chamber is actively engaged in regional economic development work to make the area more economically competitive. This includes broadening our current economic base. We find it troubling that part of our region in Southeastern Massachusetts is almost effectively blocked under current legislation from even considering a gaming option in this area since the prospects, if any, of a full resort casino in Region C appear distant.
The Chamber’s support for H 4070 is to allow consideration of options. We have not taken any position on any specific gaming proposal. We simply believe that the region should at least have some options open for new development. Likewise, it is our hope that the Commission will reopen the licensing process so proposals can be considered.