Deadline for Springfield casino proposals approaching - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Deadline for Springfield casino proposals approaching

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Two casino operators interested in building in Springfield must have their detailed proposals into City Hall by Thursday.

Those proposals will be reviewed by the casino site committee, the city council, the city's hired casino consultants and finally Mayor Domenic Sarno.

In this second phase, city leaders say they want to see how each proposal would affect the city residents.

"We're eager to learn about the mitigation component," said City Council President and Casino Site Committee Member James Ferrera.

He is just one of the eyes that will be reviewing detailed proposals from both Penn National Gaming and MGM Resorts International.

"Now it's time to see exactly what they're going to be doing for the residents, the business owners here in the city of Springfield moving forward," Ferrera said.

As part of the second and final phase of the city's casino timeline, both developers must outline exactly how they will handle challenges like traffic, impact on local businesses and how it will affect the local residents.

After reviewing, city leaders may choose to move forward and negotiate a community host agreement, with either one or both of the operators.

"I think that will then dictate how we move forward with the whole process," Ferrera said.

In the past couple of weeks both MGM and Penn National have revealed many of their layouts including virtual tours of each of their proposed sites.

They have also partnered with local community groups and even sports teams.

But Ferrera says that from here it's all about who has the best interest of the city.

"We look forward to engaging the public into that and we look forward to reviewing the submissions and ultimately the recommendation," he said.

All interested operators must also pay $400,000 in fees to the state gaming commission by Jan. 15.

MGM and Penn National have paid those fees.

Mohegan Sun, which is looking to build a resort casino in Palmer, has not yet paid them.

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