Last week, the House Ways and Means budget of Massachusetts was released with a proposal included to allow alcohol sales to be extended from 2 am until 4 am at local casinos. With the proposal, the Gaming Commission would be able to issue licenses to operators of gaming venues, permitting the sale of alcohol for an additional two hour time frame to players taking part in gaming activities. The sale of alcohol will still be prohibited under the proposal from 4 am to 8 am.
According to MassLive.com, House Ways and Means Committee spokesman Christopher Bennett stated that the section was included in the budget to help maximize the potential of the Massachusetts gaming industry. In a statement, Bennet said: “As we get nearer to the opening of the facilities and six years past the creation of the law, we need to take into account the changes in the marketplace, and ensure competitiveness.”
The state law currently allows alcohol sales until 2 am at casinos. The 2 am cutoff time is the same set for local bars in the state. As of right now, the only casino offering gaming in the state is Plainridge Park Casino, which operates as a slots parlor and has a liquor license. MGM is currently working on the MGM Springfield casino resort while Wynn Resorts is working on the construction of the Wynn Boston Harbor Resort located in Everett.
The Gaming Commission of the state heard about the proposal, but only briefly, as legislative update was provided on Thursday. The commission has yet to discuss the matter or issued an opinion. For the proposal to become law, the state Senate would have to give approval and the Senate President Stan Rosenberg does not seem to approve of the change.
Speaking to reporters last week, Rosenberg said that he is not a fan of the idea. The Senator stated that there already are not many hours when alcohol is not being served at casinos. According to Rosenberg, the proposal is a representation of a ‘yellow light’ and if it were pushed through, it could open the door to more and more changes in the gambling industry.