Gaming Commission votes to award MGM a casino license, with conditions

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) –  MGM Springfield is one step closer to breaking ground, but even further away from actually doing it.

22News was at Wednesday’s gaming commission meeting at the MassMutual Center in Springfield and discovered why there’s another delay.

Casino companies have to pay the state $85 million within 30 days of receiving a license, but the uncertainty of a repeal vote has led both MGM and the Gaming Commission to find a compromise.

The State Gaming Commission voted unanimously to award MGM Springfield a resort-casino license if MGM accepts the conditions outlined by the Commission.  But there’s a but.

The gaming commission will likely designate MGM the licensee on Friday and award the license either 3 days after a court decision in favor of casinos moving forward or 3 days after a November vote in favor of casinos.

“If it comes down that they will not permit the appeal to be on the ballot then bang we’re off to the races, and the trigger mechanism starts, the award is effective, money gets paid and shovels goes into the ground,” said Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby.

To get that gaming license MGM also has to accept six conditions.

There are six conditions for MGM to accept before they will be awarded the license:

  • MGM must create a plan for a parking garage on the Union Street side
  • They must create a plan with MassDOT to deal with noise and dust during construction.
  • MGM must report to the Commission when they sign a general contractor
  • MGM must also report all small business agreements to the Gaming Commission
  • Some employees must be hired from and around the city of Springfield
  • MGM must be an equal opportunity employer.

MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis told 22News they plan to accept the conditions.

“We are, there’s probably some word smithing that needs to be done but we generally accept everything that’s been discussed today,” said Mathis.

Not to be lost in all of this, the gaming commission completed it’s evaluation of MGM’s project.  Each of the five commissioners gave MGM “very good” marks.  “There were five at least five serious companies that wanted to do business in western Massachusetts.  It eventually winnowed down to them because they won the competitive process, they certainly won the competitive process in Springfield,” said Crosby.

The gaming commission will be back in Springfield Friday to likely designate MGM the licensee.

 

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