City of Northampton applies for casino mitigation funds

Mass Gaming Commission to Hold Hearing Thursday

Northampton City Hall on Main Street. WWLP file image.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. ( – Mayor David J. Narkewicz announced that he has filed a Community Mitigation Fund application with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on behalf of the City of Northampton. A hearing on the City’s application has been scheduled for Thursday, September 28, 2017 in Springfield. This application would provide the city with $100,000 in funding to create a marketing and advertising plan to attract MGM Springfield casino visitors to Northampton.

The Expanded Gaming Act, MGL c. 23K, created the Community Mitigation Fund to help entities offset costs related to the construction and operation of a gaming establishment. The funding for Community Mitigation applications comes from casino licensees, MGM Springfield and Wynn Everett.

In December 2013, the City of Northampton retained Camoin Associates to conduct an economic and fiscal impact study to quantify how the proposed casino could impact the city’s economy. The Camoin report determined that Northampton could experience a potential loss of recreational spending between $4 million to $8 million once the MGM Springfield casino opens. While Northampton’s 2014 application to the Gaming Commission for “surrounding community” status based on these potential impacts was not approved, the Commission has since deemed Northampton eligible to apply for Community Mitigation Funding. Northampton’s pending application focuses on ensuring that potential visitors to the new gaming facility are aware of the city as a regional destination.

“I want to ensure that Northampton is in a position to promote and market the tremendous retail, dining, entertainment, and arts and cultural opportunities available just a short drive from Springfield,” stated Mayor Narkewicz, adding “I look forward to discussing our application with the Gaming Commission this week.”

Northampton’s Community Mitigation application specifies that the funds will be used to work with a consultant and a local advisory group to create a marketing and advertising plan designed to attract MGM Springfield casino customers to visit Northampton. The agenda for Thursday’s hearing on the application is available here and a copy of Northampton’s application can be found here.