Two casino developers meet with Springfield residents - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Two casino developers meet with Springfield residents

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They're two different communities, but their concerns about a Springfield casino are largely the same.

"We're concerned about any extra crime that may come up from the south end because it's within a very short distance," said Rosemary Morin of the Maple High Six Corners Community Council.

"Safety, traffic control, what kind of jobs that they're planning on having," said Kimberly Dinoia, president of the Pine Point Neighborhood Council.

Tuesday night residents in the Mason Square area met with MGM representatives while the Pine Point Neighborhood Council held meetings with Ameristar Casino representatives to get those questions answered.

Another concern was how residents can continue to maintain accessibility with casino reps, should Springfield get selected.

There's plenty of community involvement by the developers now, but these neighborhoods want the accountability to continue well past the selection process.

"We will make it a point to stay in touch with them, whether they choose to or not," Morin said.

Developers partnered with city sports teams and invested in the area, but if Springfield is chosen to host the sole Western Mass casino, CBS 3 asked these developers how they'd retain close ties to the community.

Both reiterated their commitment to local hiring to try and reduce the city's 11.2 percent unemployment rate.

"We're talking about community give back, we're talking about education, public safety, it impacts us and it impacts our employees," said President of MGM Resorts International Bill Hornbuckle.

"This is a long process, this is a 15 year license so the revenue is just as important in the 14th year as it is in the first, so really creating those jobs," said Ameristar Casinos Community Relations Director Jonathan Little.

Penn National Gaming is the third casino developer interested in Springfield.

All three developers must submit a $400,000 fee to move on to phase two in the casino selection process.

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