Casino campaigns in Springfield

MGM Springfield hosts dinner in Court Square

Artistic rendering of the proposed MGM Springfield casino.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In November, Massachusetts voters will head to the polls to decide the fate of casinos in our state.

Two months ago, MGM finalized its purchase of two buildings in Springfield’s South End, moving forward with its casino proposal, despite the possibility of the gambling law’s repeal. MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis told 22News, “Closing on those properties was just one piece of that.”

In November, a “Yes” vote on Question 3 will repeal the state gambling law, undoing everything MGM has planned for Springfield. More than a year ago, the majority of Springfield voters approved MGM’s proposal. MGM offered to invest $800-million in the city’s South End and bring 3,000 permanent jobs to the region.

On Friday, MGM Springfield invited more than 200 people to a dinner event in Court Square. MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis told 22News his company can benefit not just Springfield, but the whole region.

He said, “Springfield is a gateway city. I think it’s really important that communities rally around their sister communities. And there will be a spin-off effect. We’ve got friends from some of the other cities here in western Mass. We’re going to reach out for tourism.”

Casino opponents disagree, saying casino gambling is a dying industry. Ted Steger from Repeal the Casino Deal said, “We are seeing the Atlantic City casinos closing. Four already this year, maybe fifth. It’s an industry on the decline, and we want to be a city on the rise.”

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4th. A “Yes” vote will repeal the gambling law. A “No” vote will keep the casinos.

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