BOSTON (SHNS) – Massachusetts is less than a year away from seeing the first full-scale resort casino licensed under the 2011 expanded gaming law open its doors to gamblers and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is ramping up its preparations.
MGM Springfield is expected to open Sept. 8, 2018, Gaming Commission Executive Director Edward Bedrosian said Thursday, so state regulators are beginning to hold regular meetings with the MGM team.
“We are slightly less than a year away and because we are, we have started our pre-opening preparations and while it seems like a year is a long time, it really isn’t,” Bedrosian told the commission at its meeting in Boston on Thursday.
For now, the meetings will be held monthly and will cover MGM’s regulatory commitments and the requirements of its host community agreement, Bedrosian said. As the anticipated opening date draws nearer, he said, the meetings will happen every other week, then weekly, and eventually daily.
MGM Resorts is building a $950 million casino in downtown Springfield, with retail and residential components as well.
Massachusetts is hoping to draw gamblers from Connecticut’s Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun and the New York City market, but the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes that run Connecticut’s casinos have been approved to build a casino in East Windsor, just six miles from the Massachusetts border, to blunt the impact of Massachusetts’ fledgling casino industry.
Last year, Connecticut’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis found that MGM’s project in Springfield would hurt Connecticut’s state finances by nearly $70 million in its first year of operation.