Casino process on track despite repeal uncertainty

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The state’s highest court will decide if voters will have a chance to vote on repealing the casino law in November, but for now, both the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and MGM Springfield are focused on the final stages of the licensing process.

A final public hearing was held Wednesday on MGM’s $800 million casino proposal. One last chance to tell the Gaming Commission why or why not a casino could benefit western Massachusetts.

The Gaming Commission now has all the information it needs from Springfield residents, neighboring community residents and MGM. The Gaming Commission will now take about a month to review MGM’s final application.

MGM will find out if they’ve won the license on June 13th, but MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis wants to wait until early July to pay the state fees. That’s when the Supreme Judicial Court is expected to decide if the casino repeal question will be on the November ballot.

Mathis told 22News, “At that point with the repeal behind us and the license in hand, we’d be ready to start construction. We’d be ready to go to work, and at the point, we believe that’s the appropriate time to make major fee payments, which we are ready to do quickly.”

22News asked Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby if the repeal possibility will affect the licensing process. “We will make a decision, and we will offer it, if we decide to award it, we’ll decide to offer it to MGM, and it’ll be up to MGM to decide whether they want to accept it or not.”

22News also asked if the Commission has found any “red flags” on MGM. Crosby’s said no red flags yet, but he expects to spend the next month carefully reviewing MGM’s application.

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