Gambling regulators set new deadlines for Massachusetts' 3rd and final resort casino license

Gambling regulators have set new application deadlines for Massachusetts' third and final resort casino license.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced Friday that initial applications for the southeastern region, which is centered on Fall River and New Bedford, will be due Jan. 30. The second part of the application is due May 26.

The commission, which hopes to award the license by next fall, has pushed back the deadlines a number of times already and eased other application requirements to help drum up interest.

The southeast region is generally seen as the least lucrative of the state's three designated casino regions (east, west and southeast). Gambling companies have also been watching to see if the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe receives federal land-in trust approval as they seek to develop a resort on an industrial park in Taunton.

To date, the commission has received just one initial application in the southeastern region: KG Urban, which hopes to develop a casino at a former power plant on the New Bedford waterfront. Foxwoods has floated the idea of a casino for Fall River while other operators have suggested casinos elsewhere. None have formally filed applications with the state, which also require a $400,000 fee.

Massachusetts' casino law authorizes up to three regional resort casinos and one slots parlor. Already licensed are an $800 million MGM project in Springfield, a $1.6 billion Wynn casino in Everett and a $225 million Penn National Gaming slots parlor in Plainville.