Springfield and MGM Officials Celebrate Casino Victory, Address Next Steps
Springfield residents have given a thumbs-up to a proposed casino. 58% of voters yesterday cast ballots in favor of MGM's proposal. Mayor Dominic Sarno and casino officials celebrated at the Museum of Springfield History. Sarno says the more the more than 24,000 votes that were cast will send a strong message to the state gaming commission.
"I really want to thank the voters of Springfield. Even the ones that didn't vote for this project -- maybe they didn't completely understand it. But I thank them for their continued confidence in my administration in partnering with MGM now for the new Springfield renaissance as we beacon that and move that forward."
MGM president Bill Hornbuckle promised the crowd of around 200 that Springfield would beat out potential competitors -- West Springfield and Palmer for the region's casino license.
"This has been a long process and it will continue. We have four counties we need to contend with and we're going to. We're going to begin to bring them into the story of Springfield and the economic development that this will bring to Western MA and ultimately the commonwealth of Massachusetts."
Hornbuckle says MGM will now meet with eight surrounding communities to work out details like traffic mitigation plans so the company can then formally apply for the casino license. To position itself ahead of the other proposals he says MGM will generate economic models demonstrating how a Springfield casino would recapture tax dollars now spent in Connecticut. the Massachusetts Gaming Commission expects to award a license by April of next year.