Someone had asked me what the timeline might look like for the proposed Millbury slots parlor.
Here’s how I understand it, but I welcome corrections and amplifications:
1) Final Draft of Host Community Agreement – late July 2013
The Town and Rush Street Gaming need to execute (have a final draft of) the host community agreement by August 2013. (No, the date is not exact, and it’s unclear whether it would be the town manager or the board of selectmen.)
Reading the agenda for tomorrow (Tuesday) night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, it appears as if they are ready to sign a host agreement with Rush Street Gaming. In that case, the date here would be July 23.
2) Town-wide Referendum on Host Community Agreement – late September 2013
After the host community agreement is executed, there needs to be a town-wide referendum no less than 60 days and no more than 90 days after the date the agreement is released. However, because things are happening so late for Millbury, I would anticipate it would be 60 days. The Gaming Commission website says this needs to happen by October, but since the Secretary of the Commonwealth needs ten days to certify the election, I’d say this needs to happen by late September at the latest.
3) Surrounding Community Agreements Negotiated – October 2013
For any community (like Worcester) that declares itself a surrounding community that could be impacted, Rush Street needs to negotiate with them by October 2013. However, they do not need to come to a signed agreement — if they cannot agree, the Gaming Commission will decide on what they think will be fair.
4) Rush Street submits RFA-2 application to Gaming Commission – October 4, 2013
According to the Gaming Commission, “This Phase 2 application form was designed by MGC as a vehicle for each applicant to demonstrate that it has thought broadly and creatively about creating an innovative and unique gaming establishment in Massachusetts that will create a synergy with, and provide a significant and lasting benefit to, the residents of the host community, the surrounding communities, the region, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and will deliver an overall experience that draws both residents and tourists to the gaming establishment and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
5) Gaming Commission selects a slots site – December 2013 – February 2014
And remember, the Gaming Commission can change the host agreement that the voters voted for!
For those of you in Millbury who are opposed, I wish you luck.
We’ve got a lot of information on No Slots Worcester, but as you can probably tell, this is a process that is stacked against anyone — pro or con — who would like to have a public discussion that provides voters with real information and consists of a dialog with real answers.
Rather, it’s a process where a town’s board of selectmen has an agenda item for their July 23 meeting to vote for a host community agreement, and then will have a public forum to discuss the proposal on August 12.
In other words, there’s more opportunity for public input before a vote in the case of a dangerous dog or a no parking zone than for a slots parlor that could royally screw up traffic (even more than it is already) and add crime and addiction to a town and its surrounding communities.
When the Worcester slots discussion was going on, there were a lot of folks who felt that voters should have the opportunity to vote on a host agreement.
I could, perhaps, have agreed with that sentiment — if I hadn’t attended meetings in which plenty of voters were misinformed and misled by their elected officials, and told that their opinions didn’t matter.
Wouldn’t it be something if the elected officials who have such respect for the electorate would also take voters’ input before host agreements are signed? Or, you know, let them see the host agreement they’re going to vote on before they vote on it?