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Exemption of some criminal records sought for casino jobs



State House News Service
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

People with criminal records could find it easier to get a job at one of the casinos being built in Massachusetts if a provision adopted Wednesday by the House is also agreed to by the Senate.

At the request of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the House included in a $123 million spending bill that will close the books on fiscal year 2017 an outside section giving the commission the discretion to exempt certain gaming service employees by job position from the requirement that all workers register with the commission’s investigations and enforcement bureau.

“Currently all gaming service employees are automatically disqualified from service if they have a CORI,” House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez said, referring to criminal offender record information. “This change was necessary because both MGM Casino in Springfield and Wynn Boston Harbor in Everett are currently beginning their hiring processes and current restrictions could impact their ability to be adequately staffed and to fulfill our statutory goal to encourage casino employment of the unemployed, under-employed and also the hard-to-employ.”

House Speaker Robert DeLeo said the change is meant to remove a provision was intended to apply to employees who work on casino gaming floors, but not block “blue collar” workers from taking advantage of the employment opportunities afforded by the expansion of casino gambling.

“What this has in mind is to make sure that those jobs that are not on the floor or involve any passing of money, that those folks would have that opportunity to get those jobs,” House Speaker Robert DeLeo said before Wednesday’s session. “For instance, whether it be in a parking lot, whether it be in a kitchen, whether it may be in a hotel or whatever it may be.”

Last month, Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby wrote to Senate President Stanley Rosenberg asking for the change to be made as soon as possible, arguing that while hiring may be about six months off the preparation of applicants is underway.