Massachusetts showing haste; Toledo looking at tax shortfall; Bellagio suing former NHL’er


MassachusettsMassachusetts won’t grant casino business licenses for at least another nine to 18 months. Gaming Commission chair Stephen P. Crosby told a gambling industry forum the casino licence lottery shouldn’t start before meticulous planning has been done and that members of the Commission should resist the temptation to “rush”. Estimates as to how much casino companies will spend have been set at around $4billion and it goes some way to explain why they’re taking the long road to victory.

Crosby set out two additional goals for the commission. The first of these is to, “avoid terrible negatives,” with the second “to leverage the common good.’’ He recognized that local community votes will be “sacrosanct” and hopes to put as much as he can back into the community. With $4bn at his disposal this could be easier than he thinks.

Toledo is looking at a substantial tax shortfall after the casino they were gambling on is yet to open its doors. The Ohio city hoped the Hollywood Casino would open early this year and give a tax boost of $4.5million. Instead it’s left the city with a shortfall of $1.1m and as finance director Patrick McLean explained it’s hard luck.

“If it’s not open, it’s not open. We used the best information we had at the time when we created the budget,” McLean said. “As circumstances change, we simply have to adapt.”

The Bellagio is suing former professional hockey player Len Barrie after he failed to pay a debt of over $2million. The suit, filed with the British Colombia Supreme Court, alleges that the one-time owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning owes them $2,221,166 after taking $1.5m in credit from the casino in 2008. That figure has gone up after interest was added and it’s all after he already paid $420k. Should have just stuck to hockey I guess.