Reality of MGM Springfield casino setting in for residents

Artistic rendering of the proposed MGM Springfield casino.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- After Tuesday’s vote, people are coming to a firm realization, a resort casino is coming to Springfield’s South End.

Crews have been testing soil for the beginning stages of building this resort casino, and residents in surrounding communities have high expectations with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission officially awarding MGM Springfield a gaming license Thursday.

The plans for the $800 million dollar resort casino in Springfield’s South End are coming together.

“You know instead of spending my money on scratch tickets and the lottery I’m going to go down to the casino, try my luck, get a bite to eat, and its a good night out you know for everybody,” Richard Godbout, of West Springfield said.

MGM Springfield will have to pay $85 million for their gaming license.

The casino developer will also have to pay $2 million in upfront payments to surrounding communities before the casino opens .

Then a total of  $1.5 million will be paid annually to those cities and towns once the doors open.

Aside from the upfront payments that 8 of the surrounding communities will receive from MGM Springfield residents I spoke with today are cautiously optimistic that they’ll receive more long term economic benefits.

Elizabeth Taylor, of Springfield said,”The recent crime that Springfield has, are we really in a predicament to bring a casino here?  It can provide jobs but Trump just closed so I’m still kind of on the fence about it.”

There will be an estimated 2,000 construction jobs to build the resort casino complex.  The casino developers say once the doors are open the majority of the 3,000 plus employees will come from the Springfield area.

“I’m expecting more jobs for the community, more money for the community and a better way of life because of the job increase,” Tom Courtney, of Agawam said.

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