MGM makes final presentation to gaming commission - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

MGM makes final presentation to gaming commission, promises revitalization

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MGM Springfield made their final presentation to the state gaming commission Thursday.

The commission has told all applicants they're looking for the "wow factor" in each proposal.

MGM said they'll transform Springfield.

Dozens of Springfield residents and MGM supporters boarded buses in Springfield to travel to Boston to hear the presentation.

MGM Springfield's newly-announced President Michael Mathis said after the presentation, his company left it all out on the table.

"There's nothing we would do differently, it's everything we wanted and everything the city and the region wanted," Mathis said. 

The casino reps took 90 minutes to explain why the commission should give them a license and let them build, outlining how their proposal will integrate with already established Springfield landmarks like Symphony Hall and the historic Armory building.

But they also say their project has the potential to elevate Springfield from a perception of crime and a lack of jobs.

Mayor Domenic Sarno says that's why it's more than a casino proposal to him.

"This MGM economic development project is going to stimulate thousands and thousands of jobs. Put money in people's pockets, their wallets, their pocketbooks, they're less likely to get into that vicious poverty cycle."

Chairman of the Gaming Commission Stephen Crosby told CBS 3 earlier this week he couldn't think of anything that could stop MGM from getting a gaming license.

Thursday he spoke about the company's word that they will regenerate an entire city.

"If they can do that or if they can have a reasonable possibility of doing that, or make a reasonable case for doing that, that would be a pretty big wow," Crosby said. 

Licenses are not expected to be awarded until May.

"We think Springfield is the wow - the great history, all the architecture, the wonderful people," Mathis said. 

"We have a strong proposal and now we'll await the decision of the gaming commission," Sarno said. 

The next step of the process is dealing with the surrounding community petitions.

The gaming commission is slated to hear from Hampden, Longmeadow and Northampton next week who all want to see their communities get money from MGM.

Anti-casino groups also spoke out Thursday against MGM's South End casino proposal.

The group No Casino Springfield tells CBS 3 that even though the process seems to be coming to an end, they are not done fighting against gaming coming to Western Mass.

A ballot initiative called "repeal the casino deal" has enough signatures to be put on the November ballot.

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