MA Gaming Comm. plans to award MGM Springfield a casino license - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

MA Gaming Comm. plans to award MGM Springfield a casino license Friday

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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission unanimously voted Wednesday to prepare to award MGM Springfield the state's first casino license on Friday, as long as officials agree to six conditions laid out by the board.

•MGM must report to the gaming commission once they have chosen a general contractor for their $800 million construction project.

•MGM must disclose any negotiated leases that are signed with businesses that will rent space inside of the MGM complex.

•MGM must report to the commission the amount of Springfield residents that have been hired to make up for a previously outlined community pledge.

•Coordinate with the Trial Court of Massachusetts, MassDOT and other interested or impacted parties to minimize issues during construction.

•Ensure the parking garage and historic building facades blend well with existing buildings in the neighborhood.

•Report to the commission the general contractor's affirmative action hiring plan and offer a local MGM affirmative action hiring plan.

MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis says they "generally" accept everything discussed today and they're ready for the license to begin construction.

"We want to get this project going and we are very confident that that will happen soon," he said.

There could be a possible delay in putting shovels in the ground, however, with the Supreme Judicial Court not ruling until July on whether the repeal casino question should be on November's ballot. If it is voted down, MGM can begin construction this summer. If it's put on the ballot, MGM has to sit tight.

"The intention is clear," Massachusetts Gaming Commission President Stephen Crosby said. "We are looking forward to making this award. We want to make this award. We are very pleased with the proposal, but we are going to work with them to accommodate these other eventualities that are slowing them down."

Mathis says the hiccup in their plans is frustrating.

"But it's a delay to the revenue to the city, 25-million dollars a year, it's a delay to 2,000 construction jobs and all the economic development our project, as you heard today, promises," Mathis said.

A public meeting will take place in Boston on Thursday and deliberations will continue then, if necessary. The gaming commission returns to Springfield Friday for an official license determination.

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