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Casino Deadline Looms In Mass.

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BOSTON (CBS) – Tuesday evening the State’s Gaming Commission will be holding a news conference announcing the names of the companies competing for one of the state’s casino licenses.

Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve says the chairman of the commission expects a number of late entries.

“We will sit there with our hands out and take the checks for $400,000,” said Steve Crosby. He is the man collecting non- refundable checks from casino developers in these final hours.

He showed us one from the Hard Rock Corporation for a proposed casino in western Massachusetts. They are one of four possible bidders for the one casino license in that region.

Mohegan Sun also submitted their check on Tuesday.

Crosby says “starting January 15th the tire kickers are gone.”

At the Casino Commission downtown they are getting ready to begin the year-long process of deciding who is in and who is out.

Who will get the right to bring gambling to the Bay State?

Investigators are already doing background checks and analyzing financial records from at least four companies.

Staffers are working tight deadlines. Crosby expects some big names to be in the game at the cut off.

On Monday, Wynn paid the $4,000 fee for proposed casinos.

“Starting tomorrow [Tuesday] we will be talking to the MGM’s and Caesars, Wynn’s and Mohegan’s. And we will be saying if you want to win a license, here is what you have to do for the people of Massachusetts.”

In eastern Massachusetts it is likely only two companies who will be competing for the one license.

Why? Experts believe Suffolk Downs with its support from the Boston Mayor and its partnering with Caesar’s Entertainment scared more competitors away. The only other Boston-area competition is expected to come from Casino Developer Steve Wynn and his plan to build a billion dollar hotel and resort on the Mystic River in Everett.

But, for now it put up or shut up. The deadline to play is 5 p.m. Tuesday.

In addition to a possible Indian casino in southeastern Massachusetts the commission will also be awarding one license to a slots parlor which can be located anywhere.

The Casino Chairman hopes there could be three bidders for that slots permit by the Tuesday deadline.

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