‘‘The system is working the way the system is supposed to work,’’ Crosby said.
Yet the first year has not been without missteps. In May, the commission’s choice for interim executive director, Stanley McGee, declined the offer after the resurfacing of an allegation that he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old boy in Florida in 2007. Crosby called the episode a ‘‘learning experience’’ for the panel. A permanent executive director has yet to be named.
While some ardent casino backers are disappointed with the commission’s deliberate pace, the panel gets high marks from former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, one of the state’s leading opponents of casino gambling. He credits the panel for taking its time and not succumbing to pressures to accelerate the process.
‘‘I think they deserve a lot of credit for avoiding the push to get this up and running at all costs,’’ said Harshbarger, who predicted the gambling law would bring corruption and other social ills.
Harshbarger said he was impressed by the commission’s openness — it has provided live webcasts of most public meetings — and the apparent absence of any undue influence from powerful elected officials.
Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst, one of the principal architects of the casino bill, said the law is unfolding mostly as expected, with one surprise being the level of interest in western Massachusetts compared with the rest of the state. He praised the commission while suggesting it might consider ways of shortening the timeline for licensing.
Don’t expect, however, to see any tinkering with the law itself, barring discovery of some catastrophic flaw.
‘‘I hope that there are no fatal points, because short of a fatal point, let it play out,’’ Rosenberg said.