Stephen Crosby, chair of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, addressed local business leaders and officials at the Everett Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Breakfast Tuesday morning at BNY Mellon.
A graduate of Harvard University who holds a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University, Crosby is the chairman of the five-member Commission that is considering 11 applications from firms for expanding gaming licenses in the state. The Commission will grant up to three casino licenses and one slots establishment license.
Well-known developer Steve Wynn has proposed building a $1 billion casino resort on a site in Everett while Suffolk Downs officials have proposed a $1 billion casino resort for its property in East Boston so the issue of expanding gaming is one of considerable interest in this area. David Nunes and Foxwoods is the third applicant for the casino license in the Greater Boston area.
Crosby said the casinos will create between 8,000-10,000 construction jobs and 8,000-10,000 permanent jobs and generate $300-$500 million in annual revenue for the state.
Crosby told the audience that the Commission is currently in a two-stage application process. “The first stage is the background check phase, the Request For Application I. All eleven bidders for the three licenses (two casinos and one slots parlor) have submitted very detailed background information about their employment history, their criminal record history, their people history, their financial stability, etc.”
Crosby said Phase II consists of the 11 bidders putting together site-specific applications. “Here’s our building, here’s the revenue we’re going to generate, and here’s the jobs we’re going to generate, here’s how we’re going to mitigate the traffic impacts, here’s what we’re going to do for problem gambling, etc.”
He said once the Commission asserts the applicant [Wynn Group] is qualified, Everett officials would conclude their negotiations on a host community agreement [with the Wynn Group]. Everett residents will then vote on a referendum whether to approve the host community agreement.
“We think we’ll have the casino licenses awarded by February or March of next year ,” said Crosby.
Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he was very impressed by the thoroughness of Crosby’s presentation and his enthusiasm for the expanded gaming process.
“I was very impressed by Chairman Crosby’s presentation,” said DeMaria. “I think he was very transparent and clearly spelled out all the parts of the expanded gaming legislation, the host community agreement, and the referendum. I was very happy to hear how enthusiastic he was about the whole process and how the Commission is zoning in on the developer and making sure that the developer will build a development that’s going to be good for the community.”
DeMaria invited Crosby to return to the community for a public meeting with Everett residents.
“I want the residents to feel included in the process,” said DeMaria.