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What you need to know

  • The Expanded Gaming Act created the Community Mitigation Fund to help entities offset impact costs related to the construction and operation of a gaming establishment.
  • The applications for the 2021 Community Mitigation Fund are due by February 1, 2021.
  • The Community Mitigation Fund may be used to compensate for impact costs related to both Category 1 full casino facilities (MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor) and the state’s Category 2 slots-only facility (Plainridge Park Casino).

About the 2021 Community Mitigation Fund

The Massachusetts Legislature legalized casino gaming to produce broad-based economic development, including jobs and revenue. The Legislature also established an equally important mandate to mitigate unintended impacts associated with the arrival of casino gaming. To that end, the law created the Community Mitigation Fund to support communities and governmental entities in offsetting impact costs related to the construction and operation of gaming facilities.

Since 2015, the MGC has issued approximately $23 million in funding to advance needs in transportation, community planning, workforce development and public safety for municipalities and government entities located in the vicinity of the casinos.

2021 Community Mitigation Fund Applications

Specific Impact Grant Applications
Transportation Planning Grant Applications
Transportation Construction Project Grant Applications
Workforce Development Pilot Program Grant Applications
Community Planning Grant Applications

About the Funds

Reauthorization of the 2015/2016 One-time Reserves Until End of Calendar Year 2021 – (NEW)

Unspent 2015/2016 Reserves will automatically be carried forward for use in 2021. Communities that received approval for 2015/2016 Reserves do not need to re-apply. This Reserve can be used to cover impacts that either have occurred or are occurring in 2021. It may also be used for planning, either to determine how to achieve further benefits from a facility or to avoid or minimize any adverse impacts.

There are still several communities that have not fully expended their Reserves. MGC urges communities to consider whether there are any casino related impacts that need to be addressed. MGC will give these communities until the end of Calendar Year 2021 to commit these funds. Any funding not committed to a project by that time will be rolled back into the CMF and allocated equally between the Regions.

Specific Impact Grants

The 2021 Specific Impact Grant may be used only to mitigate operational related impacts that are being experienced or were experienced from the gaming facilities by the January 31, 2021 application date. MGC has placed a per grant limit for the 2021 Specific Impact Grant of $500,000, subject to request for waiver.

Public Safety Costs

Specific Impact Grant Applications may be submitted for public safety operational costs, which also may include specific training related to gaming facility issues. To receive a Specific Impact Grant for public safety an applicant has to demonstrate three specific things (1) that the grant addresses an issue caused by the casino, (2) the impact is not addressed in the host or surrounding community agreement and (3) the funding will supplement and not supplant historical operational funding.

Incentive for Regional Cooperation

MGC established incentive funding for applications involving more than one community. These joint applications must specifically show the interrelationship of the communities in their endeavor.

Transportation Planning Grants

The 2021 CMF authorizes communities to apply for Transportation Planning Grants. MGC approved a target of $1,000,000 for the total allocation with no more than $200,000 per grant (plus potentially a regional incentive).

Transportation Construction Project Grants

In 2021 MGC will continue grant funding for transportation construction costs. MGC has established a maximum contribution from the CMF of 1/3 of the total construction costs up to a maximum grant amount of $1,000,000. MGC has established a statewide target of $4,000,000 in spending. However, MGC has retained the ability to increase this award amount and other award amounts if funds are available.

Workforce Development Programs in Region A and Region B

MGC will make funding available for workforce development programs in Regions A and B. In an effort to promote administrative efficiencies and greater regional cooperation, applicants that demonstrate cooperation of a significant number of workforce agencies in each region may be eligible for $50,000 in additional funding. The Commission may also authorize an award of up to $100,000 for significant regional needs.

Community Planning Grants (formerly known as Non-Transportation Planning)

MGC will make funding available for certain planning and technical assistance activities through Community Planning Grants. These grants may be used to achieve further benefits from a gaming facility or to avoid or minimize adverse impacts. The maximum grant amount for 2021 is $100,000. In the event that a Community Planning Grant involves more than one community for the same planning project, applicants would be eligible for a Regional Planning Incentive Award.

Tribal Gaming Technical Assistance

MGC is making technical assistance funding available to assist in the determination of potential impacts that may be experienced by communities in geographic proximity to the potential Tribal Gaming facility in Taunton. This funding will only be made available if it is determined by the MGC that construction of the gaming facility will likely commence prior to or during Fiscal Year 2021.

Emergency Mitigation Grants – (NEW)

MGC has added a new category of grants for significant impacts that may be identified outside of the normal CMF application process. Any impact must be newly identified and be of an emergency nature that would cause significant harm to the community if it were not remedied in an expeditious fashion. The intent of this grant is to allow MGC to be more responsive in addressing significant casino-related issues that do not fall within the normal CMF timelines.

2021 Community Mitigation Fund Guidelines and Instructions

The application period for the 2021 Community Mitigation Fund is now open, and applications were due by February 1, 2021.

The following application forms are meant for reference only. Applications must be submitted via COMMBUYS (BD-21-1068-1068C-1068L-56499), per the instructions.

Further detail on this year’s program may be found in the Guidelines or by contacting Joe Delaney. Mr. Delaney can be reached at joseph.delaney@massgaming.gov.

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