01/16/2013 2:05PM

Bids in on Massachusetts casinos


A third and perhaps a fourth bidder have emerged for the sole casino license in the Boston area that is being sought by a partnership that includes Suffolk Downs.

By a late-afternoon deadline on Tuesday, the Suffolk Downs partnership, which includes Caesars Entertainment, had been joined by Wynn Resorts and a partnership of Crossroads and Warner Gaming in submitting a $400,000 filing fee and application to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission explicitly seeking the Boston-area license.

Another company, Rush Street Gaming, based in Chicago, was one of eight other bidders that submitted an application by the Tuesday deadline. Although the application did not indicate which license the company was seeking, reports said that the company is considering a site in the Boston area.

Under a law passed in 2011, Massachusetts will license one casino operator in Boston, one casino operator in Western Massachusetts, and one in the southeastern part of the state. The law also allowed one slots parlor.

It is expected that the Massachusetts Gambling Commission will take at least a year to evaluate the proposals before awarding the licenses. Proposals by the bidders will also likely need to be vetted by the communities where they will be located.

Suffolk Downs reached a partnership with Caesars last year to build a casino at its racetrack in East Boston, and it was initially considered the favorite for the license.

Under the 2011 law, 2.5 percent of the state’s 25-percent take of casino revenue will be directed to racing subsidies, along with 9 percent of the revenue from the slots parlor.