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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE II EXECUTIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS
    OF THE COMMONWEALTH
  • CHAPTER 23K THE MASSACHUSETTS GAMING COMMISSION se fee or tax; penalties.
  • Section 17 Determination and designation of surrounding communities and impacted live entertainment venues of proposed gaming establishment; public hearing; action by the commission on the application

Section 17. (a) After a review of the entire application and any independent evaluations, the commission shall identify which communities shall be designated as the surrounding communities of a proposed gaming establishment; provided, however, that any community that has negotiated a surrounding community memorandum of understanding with the applicant that was submitted with the application shall be considered a surrounding community by the commission. In making that determination, the commission shall consider the detailed plan of construction submitted by the applicant, information received from the public and factors which shall include, but not be limited to, population, infrastructure and distance from the gaming establishment and political boundaries. If the commission determines a city or town to be a surrounding community and the applicant has not finalized negotiations with that community in its application pursuant to section 15, the applicant shall negotiate a signed agreement with that community within 30 days and no action shall be taken on its application prior to the execution of that agreement. Notwithstanding clause (9) of said section 15, in the event that an applicant and a surrounding community cannot reach an agreement within the 30-day period, the commission shall have established protocols and procedures for ensuring the conclusion of a negotiation of a fair and reasonable agreement between an applicant and a surrounding community in order to allow the applicant to submit a timely and complete application.

(b) After a review of the entire application and any independent evaluations, the commission shall identify which live entertainment venues shall be designated as impacted live entertainment venues of a proposed gaming establishment; provided, however, that any live entertainment venue that has negotiated an agreement with the applicant that was submitted with the application shall be considered an impacted live entertainment venue by the commission. If the commission determines a live entertainment venue to be an impacted live entertainment venue and the applicant has not finalized negotiations with that live entertainment venue in its application pursuant to section 15, the applicant shall negotiate a signed agreement with that live entertainment venue within 30 days and no action shall be taken on its application prior to the execution of that agreement. Notwithstanding clause (10) of said section 15, in the event an applicant and an impacted live entertainment venue cannot reach an agreement within the 30-day period, the commission shall have established protocols and procedures for ensuring the conclusion of a negotiation of a fair and reasonable agreement between an applicant and an impacted live entertainment venue in order to allow the applicant to submit a timely and complete application. A gaming licensee’s compliance with such agreements shall be considered upon a gaming licensee’s application for renewal of the gaming license.

(c) The commission shall conduct a public hearing on the application pursuant to section 11 1/2 of chapter 30A. An applicant for a gaming license and a municipality designated as a host or surrounding community shall be given at least 30 days notice of the public hearing. The commission shall hold the public hearing within the host community; provided, however, that the host community may request that the commission hold the hearing in another city or town.

(d) The public hearing shall provide the commission with the opportunity to address questions and concerns relative to the proposal of a gaming applicant to build a gaming establishment, including the scope and quality of the gaming area and amenities, the integration of the gaming establishment into the surrounding community and the extent of required mitigation plans and receive input from members of the public from an impacted community. During the hearing, the commission may take the opportunity to read into the record any letters of support, opposition or concern from members of a community in the vicinity of the proposed gaming establishment.

(e) Not sooner than 30 days nor later than 90 days after the conclusion of the public hearing, the commission shall take action on the application. The commission may: (i) grant the application for a gaming license; (ii) deny the application; or (iii) extend the period for issuing a decision in order to obtain any additional information necessary for a complete evaluation of the application; provided, however, that the extension shall be not longer than 30 days.

(f) Upon denial of an application, the commission shall prepare and file the commission’s decision and, if requested by the applicant, shall further prepare and file a statement of the reasons for the denial, including specific findings of fact by the commission and the recommendation from the bureau relative to the suitability of the applicant pursuant to sections 12 and 16. Applicants may request a hearing before the commission to contest any findings of fact by the bureau relative to the suitability of the applicant.

(g) The commission shall have full discretion as to whether to issue a license. Applicants shall have no legal right or privilege to a gaming license and shall not be entitled to any further review if denied by the commission.