School of Law News

Massachusetts Gaming Commission to Host Educational Forum

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) in conjunction with the Institute for Legislative and Governmental Affairs at the Western New England University School of Law and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission is hosting an educational forum for members of the public designed to assist potential host and surrounding communities with the critical planning process in anticipation of the arrival of expanded gaming. The forum will be held on August 8 from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will be located in Rivers Memorial Hall at Western New England University. The forum’s agenda will include esteemed panelists and industry experts in the areas of community mitigation, workforce development, and tourism. Elected officials will also be in attendance including State Senator Gale Candaras and State Senator Stanley Rosenberg.

Senator Candaras stated, “This event will present a terrific opportunity to hear from experts on casino siting and community mitigation. Anyone who has an interest in the impact of a casino in their area should attend.” Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Bruce Stebbins stated, “This is MGC’s fifth educational forum and is unique in its efforts to address three distinct issues. We hope that many local residents and business owners will take advantage of the opportunity to attend this forum in Western Mass, a region that appears to have much excitement and potential competition for casino development.” Commissioner Stebbins added, “We look forward to informative discussions in regards to maximizing job creation and enhancing efforts in tourism, both key measures of the Gaming Act.”

Community members are encouraged to join the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and panelists in Western Mass to discuss key issues associated with the introduction of expanded gaming including tourism, community mitigation, and workforce development. The forum will cover a collection of informative mitigation and regional planning matters for the Commission and the community to carefully consider as the Commonwealth moves toward the realization of expanded gaming. The session will provide the opportunity to hear from a panel of experts with experience from both Massachusetts and out-of-state who will be able to provide unique and informative perspectives.

The forum will include several panel discussions. The community mitigation panel will be moderated by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Executive Director, Tim Brennan. Panelists will include Jeffery Simon, Director of the Massachusetts Recovery and Investment Office, and Monica Laboy, Former Director of the City of Somerville’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development. The panelist will share their experience on community mitigation issues including topics such as transportation and infrastructure. In addition, the panel will share information on the tools municipalities need to manage the size and scope of a large-scale project.

A second panel will address the issue of tourism and marketing. The arrival of expanded gaming will provide Massachusetts with an opportunity to bolster tourism through innovative marketing opportunities. This panel will include professionals in this area of expertise.

The third panel discussion will focus on workforce development. The goal of this panel is discuss the creation of a regional workforce training plan, to identify career opportunities and brainstorm about ways Massachusetts can prepare state residents for casino employment.

To attend the forum in person, please complete this registration form. Residents are also encouraged to connect with MGC via Twitter, @MassGamingComm, to view live tweets throughout the forum.

To view the forum live, click here beginning at 1:00 p.m.

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