The gambling industry in Massachusetts has yet to launch and already been the subject of controversy. Overshadowing the beginning of the gambling industry in the state, two investigations into misconduct are now complete.
The Chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Stephen Crosby, was accused of acting inappropriately during the casino license competition in the area near Boston, with the Ethics Commission deciding to not take further action.
Action will also not take place after a letter was sent by the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe criticizing the regulators of the state of being in violation of state laws. Maura Healey, the State Attorney General, will not be pursuing a case on the subject.
The decision on both investigations was made during a meeting yesterday when the Gaming Commission held a vote to issue the temporary ‘opening certificate’ to the Plainville Massachusetts casino, Plainridge Park. The slot parlor will be the first gaming facility to open in the state since casino legislation was enacted back in 2011 by state lawmakers. The casino plans on having a test phase on the 22nd of this month before opening on the 24th.
In regards to the ethics probe into Crosby’s dealings with the Boston area license, the Chairman stated that it is discouraging to have his integrity or the process called into question, the development of no further action substantiates the pledge of the Commission to operate in a ‘participatory, transparent and fair manner’.
Just before Crosby’s announcement of no further investigation, the office of AG Healey stated they would not be taking further action based on the letter sent by the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe to try and delay the casino opening. The tribe is seeking approval on a federal level to create a gaming facility in Taunton which is near the Plainridge Park facility. The letter, sent in May, accused the Gaming Commission of violating state law, referring to a ban on slot facilities from providing games like roulette and blackjack. The tribe is arguing that the ban includes to the casino’s electronic offerings.
Just last year, the Commission placed a regulation for the casino to be able to offer as many as 1,500 ‘gaming positions’ with 1,250 gaming machines. The cap does not seem to involve machines that can house multiple gamers for simultaneous betting, such as with roulette and blackjack.