Longmeadow, W. Spfld. agreements with MGM upheld

Artist's rendering of the proposed MGM Springfield casino, including the now-abandoned plan for a 25-story glass tower on State Street. The elimination of the glass tower is part of what the city council has to vote on.

BOSTON (WWLP) – The state’s Gaming Commission is allowing arbitration panel rulings that favored Longmeadow and West Springfield over MGM Springfield to stand.

MGM had sought the ability to adjust the amounts awarded to the two surrounding communities. The casino company, which hopes to build a resort in the South End of Springfield, will have to pay West Springfield $665,000 up front if they are awarded a casino license, with annual payments of $425,000, an arbitration panel ruled this week. A separate panel ruled in favor of Longmeadow, awarding that town an upfront payment of $850,000 with an annual payment of $275,000.

During their meeting in Boston Friday, the panel also agreed that money cities and towns receive from MGM must be put to use dealing with the impacts of a casino in a nearby community, and not on other kinds of spending.

In a statement sent to 22News, MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis said that they were thankful for the opportunity to discuss the issue, even if it didn’t go in their favor.

“Although the awards were not adjusted as we had hoped, we very much appreciated the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s recognition that certain fees need to be tied to impacts, and these mandated surrounding community agreements qualify for future re-evaluation,” Mathis said.

The commission is expected to make its decision on whether or not to award MGM a casino license on June 13.

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