Casino panel sets timetable for SE Mass. bids

Massachusetts gaming panel sets timetable for commercial casino bids in southeast region

Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) -- The state's gambling commission has set a Sept. 30 deadline for commercial developers seeking a casino license in southeastern Massachusetts.

Under a timetable set by the panel on Thursday, companies will have until that date to submit a preliminary application along with a $400,000 application fee.

The five-member commission voted last month to open the region to commercial casino developers. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, which hopes to build a casino in Taunton, had previously enjoyed exclusivity in the region under a provision of the state's 2011 casino law.

Commission staff initially recommended an Aug. 31 deadline for commercial developers, but potential applicants were concerned the earlier date would not give them enough time to line up financial backers.

The panel hopes to award a license in southeastern Massachusetts by late 2014.

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