Gaming Commission Begins Brockton Casino Evaluation Hearings
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission began a series of hearings and deliberations on Tuesday as they decide whether to award Mass Gaming and Entertainment a commercial casino license for a proposed Brockton casino.
Karen Wells, the Director of the Commission's Investigations and Enforcement Bureau, was the first to speak before the Commission and discussed the compliance history of parent company, Rush Street Gaming.
Wells told Commission Chair Stephen Crosby that while the company's corporate history does include some infractions it's nothing outside of industry norms or a cause for alarm.
"There's nothing here that would alert me that there was a specific problem and nothing that was unusual in the industry," said Wells.
One of the issue of concern for the commission was a decision by Rush Street Gaming to use of a company that had alleged underworld connections.
John Donnelly, a lawyer for Rush Street Gaming, responded by saying the Commission should focus on the steps that they took once they were aware of the situation and recognize that no vetting system is flawless.
"What we did with the vendor was what our procedures provided that had been approved and made sense at the time," said Donnelly "we thought we were catching everything in this pretty fine sieve that we had with the vetting process, but nonetheless, we didn't catch that."
The finances of Rush Street Gaming got a favorable review from Gaming Commissioner Enrique Zuniga who call their financial strength outstanding.
Zuniga told his fellow commissioners that even though the company doesn't have many liquid assets, their real estate assets are substantial enough for a proposed Brockton casino.
"Their assets are mostly non-liquid, given that they really are a real estate company, and that's where they started their success," said Zuniga "but even though these assets are non-liquid they are substantial."
Zuniga did say however that the company would see a dimished return on their investment if a proposed Taunton casino becomes operational.
The Commission will hold at least two more meetings before a final decision is rendered no later than Friday.