SENATE DOCKET, NO. 2021        FILED ON: 1/16/2009

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2042



The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Nine



An Act Establishing and Regulating Resort-Style Entertainment in the Commonwealth..


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

The general court finds and declares that:

promoting the economic viability of the commonwealth is a fundamental purpose of state government;

growing the commonwealth's economy is the best way to make the investments in those areas that will strengthen the commonwealth;

the creation of resort-style entertainment complexes is an important part of an overall strategy to ensure the state's economic growth;

authorizing 3 resort-style entertainment complexes will result in thousands of construction jobs and billions of dollars of construction-related spending in the commonwealth;

once constructed, the 3 resort-style entertainment complexes will create thousands of new jobs for residents of the commonwealth and offer a wide array of employment opportunities for individuals with diverse educational backgrounds and skills, while enhancing the commonwealth's workforce development system by creating career advancement opportunities for casino employees;

ensuring that the resort casinos are located in distinct markets of the state expands economic development and job creation broadly throughout the whole commonwealth and recognizes that the needs of regional economies must be addressed;

revenue generated from resort casinos can be used to fund critical needs in the commonwealth, and our cities and towns; 

such investment in infrastructure is an economic necessity and will facilitate economic development and job creation;

offsetting property tax burden, hitting middle and lower income homeowners the hardest, and providing local services;

retooling and modernizing the racing industry and workforce in the commonwealth is critical to the success of the resort-style entertainment industry and to the state’s economic growth overall;

addressing the social costs of gaming is an important and necessary part of any comprehensive gaming plan and therefore this act provides for a high level of funding for these costs and an evaluation mechanism to ensure we understand fully the impacts of gaming in the commonwealth;

a rigorous gaming regulatory and enforcement scheme is needed to ensure fairness and integrity in the gaming industry, and therefore this act contains a detailed strategy to ensure proper oversight and evaluation of resort casinos in our commonwealth;

the success of gaming in this commonwealth requires public confidence and trust that licensed gaming will be conducted honestly and competitively, that the resort-style entertainment complexes licensed in the commonwealth will not unduly impact the quality of life enjoyed by residents of the surrounding communities, and that gaming will be free from criminal and corruptive elements;

public confidence and trust can only be maintained by strict regulation of all persons, locations, practices, associations and activities related to the operation of the resort casinos licensed in the commonwealth;

the resort-style entertainment complexes licensed in the commonwealth must therefore be controlled to protect the public health, safety, and well being of the inhabitants of the commonwealth, to foster the stability and success of gaming and to preserve the competitive economy of the commonwealth;

the Massachusetts gaming control authority is therefore created as the custodian of the public trust relative to the gaming industry and is explicitly granted broad powers within this act so it may have the full authority to oversee the gaming industry and ensure that resort casino operations are transparent; and

to delay or deny the commonwealth the opportunity to increase jobs, attain new revenue, and address critical needs would be contrary to the best interests of our residents.

Section 39 of chapter 3 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting in line 63 after the words "Loan Authority" the following words: Massachusetts Gaming Control Authority.