How the surrounding community upfront payments will be used

Upfront payments range from $50,000 to $850,000

Artistic rendering of the proposed MGM Springfield casino.

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – MGM Springfield has paid $85 million to the state. Now, MGM will pay $1 million to its host community and fulfill its obligations to the surrounding communities.

The state gambling law requires MGM to pay upfront payments to it surrounding communities within one month of receiving its gaming license. So by December 6th, MGM will pay about $1.5 million to 8 surrounding communities in Hampden County.

The upfront payments range from $50,000 to $850,000, and how the communities will use that money vary from town to town.

Longmeadow’s $850,000 will go to traffic improvements. Longmeadow Town Manager Stephen Crane told 22News, “Route 5 or Longmeadow St., there are several signalized intersections that we think are going to be significantly impacted. And those are going to be the focus of the upfront payment.”

However, in communities like Agawam, the agreement does not specify the use. Agawam Mayor Richard Cohen told 22News $50,000 of MGM’s upfront payment covered the legal fees. The remaining $75,000 is considered a “community grant.”

Mayor Cohen said, “My major goals are I’d like to see the senior community, I’d like to see the schools and the public safety be able to utilize the funds. And I will contact all those departments and see what it is that they may need that they haven’t been able to do.”

The surrounding towns will receive annual payments from MGM as well, and get a chance to re-assess the impacts after the casino opens.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission received a total of $195 million in licensing fees from MGM, Wynn Resorts and Penn National. That money is separate from these upfront payments.

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