BOSTON (WWLP-AP) – MGM now officially has state approval to operate a casino in Springfield. Late Thursday morning, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission unanimously voted to finalize the license for the company, which seeks to build a $800 million resort-casino in the city’s South End.
“This is the culmination of a 2 ½ almost 3 year journey, it’s exciting to deliver on all the promises to Springfield”, said MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis.
MGM and Wynn Resorts, which seeks to open a casino in Everett, were awarded licenses in June, but those licenses were pending the results of Tuesday’s election, in which voters rejected a proposal to repeal the state’s 2011 casino law. MGM will now pay the state a non-refundable $85 million.
“It’s designated for a bunch of funds, transportation infrastructure, higher education in K-12, tourism promotion, local aid,” said Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby.
Mathis told 22News the $85 Million they owe the state is on the way and the payments to Springfield and surrounding communities will come in well before the casino opens.
“We’ll be making payments, millions of dollars over the next 6-8 months both to the city as well as to the surrounding communities. We want a healthy and strong Springfield by the time we open,’ said Mathis.
Seven of the eight surrounding communities that will receive money from MGM voted to keep the casino law. Longmeadow did not.
“40% of the people voted against it and that means we need to be attentive to the 40% of the people that would rather not have casino gambling,” said Crosby.
MGM’s South End project is expected in to open in the summer of 2017.