Chair of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Stephen Crosby attended an East Boston Chamber of Commerce dinner Monday night at Spinelli’s to brief residents here on the commission’s process for granting a casino license in the state.
“What the state wanted was intense and robust competition,” said Crosby Monday night. So the legislature set up competitive process that is unparallel anywhere else in the U.S.”
Crosby explained that this was done in order for the state to get the best proposals for community mitigation, job development, economic development and environmental sustainability.
Like at past meeting across the state, Crosby said each proposal would be judged on these criteria but the commission is looking for a ‘Wow’ factor.
Here in the eastern part of the state there are three proposals vying for a gaming license. Caesars Casino at Suffolk Downs, Wynn Everett and the Foxwoods Casino in Milford are all trying to ‘wow’ the casino commission.
“There are 250 question each applicant would have to fill out for the evaluation,” said Crosby. “So we broke the application into five criteria.”
Crosby said the five criteria are finance and how the casinos plan to be profitable and remain in good financial standings; community mitigation and how it pertains to the host community agreements, traffic and environmental mitigation; and facility and site design and how the proposed development fits in with the surrounding areas.
The fifth category Crosby said is the one referred to colloquially as the wow factor.
“We know that applicants are going to do the first four criteria and we hope they do them phenomenally well but in addition to that we want to know what they are going to do differently and uniquely,” said Crosby.
Crosby said the wow factor could be taking any of the criteria and taking it to the tenth degree.
“For example it could be taking something like sustainability and not just doing a good job with it but doing an unbelievable job with it,” said Crosby. “Or it could be something like how will these applicants appeal to outside gamblers because we don’t want these to be facilities were just locals go but places that have broader appeal nationally and internationally.”
Earlier this month Suffolk Downs filed its Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) with the state for the proposed Caesars Resort. Suffolk Downs officials are touting the commitments to sustainable development and operation in the DEIR would make the resort the most environmentally ‘green’ casino resort in the world. The proposed development will use innovative approaches to conserve water, increase open space, recover food waste, reduce energy usage associated with lighting and climate control, encourage the use of public transportation and grow on-site the vegetables needed by the resort’s various restaurants.