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Posted by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s mission is to create a fair, transparent, and participatory process for implementing the Expanded Gaming Act enacted in November 2011.  It oversees Plainridge Park Casino (June, 2015), MGM Springfield (August, 2018) and Encore Boston Harbor (June, 2019). 
After the new MGM Springfield Casino & Resort opened to great fanfare on Friday, August 24, 2018, we spoke with Commissioner Bruce Stebbins about the Mass Gaming Commission and its partnership with the state’s tourism and business communities.

What is your background and how did you became involved in the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
My career has focused on business development and enhancing career opportunities for workers through both public service positions and work with a national manufacturing association.  Serving as a member of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission all began with a letter I received from a search firm that had been contracted to identify candidates for the commission.  I look back now and think that simple letter has allowed me this chance to help residents of the Commonwealth who are looking for that first job and new career opportunities.

How will MGM Springfield contribute to the economic well-being of the city and the region now and in the years to come?
MGM Springfield is the largest private development in the history of Western Massachusetts. MGM benefits the Western Massachusetts region by employing local residents and using local firms during the design and construction period.  Looking ahead, we know that they will offer 3,000 employment opportunities, purchase $50 million annually in goods and services from local businesses and connect patrons with the tourism destinations around the region.

Tell us about the Regional Tourism Marketing Plan required by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which helps to integrate MGM with local tourism and hospitality properties and with other small businesses.
The Expanded Gaming Act and the requirements for a resort casino to construct a hotel and quality amenities has helped create the largest private development projects in the history of the Commonwealth with clearly a focus on new visitors to the region.  The Regional Tourism Marketing Plan is a unique requirement among gaming jurisdictions and it demonstrates how our licensees will interact with local tourism councils and other destinations.

Job creation is an important factor in the Commonwealth’s economic growth.  Describe some of the workforce development programs available to train new workers in this industry.
Our gaming licensees have partnered with our Massachusetts community colleges, career centers and local training providers to make sure Massachusetts residents have the skills and training to successfully compete for a wide variety of gaming industry positions.  We have focused on creating new gaming schools and expanding support for culinary and hospitality programs to support local citizens.  The commission’s own Community Mitigation Fund has supported workforce development and diversity programs that are focusing on basic and enhanced skills training.  Our efforts are helping our licensees meet their local hiring goals.

Thank you Commissioner Stebbins.