Gaming commission approves MGM Springfield - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Gaming commission approves MGM Springfield as Massachusetts' first casino licensee

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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission unanimously voted to enter into an agreement with MGM Springfield, designating them as the recipient of the sole Western Massachusetts casino license.

"MGM Springfield, we are proud to say and pleased to say, is the designated licensee for the Category 1 license in Western Mass," Mass Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby said.

After a weeklong review with very good remarks from the commission, MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis signed the dotted line just before 11 a.m. on Friday.

Mayor Domenic Sarno thanked residents and those in the room in the Mass Mutual Center where the vote took place Friday morning. In addition, he thanked the commission for their thorough process.

"It's an exciting time," Sarno said. "MGM is a world-renowned company and the due diligence has been done."

MGM agreed to a number of conditions placed on the license on Wednesday that include making sure existing structures jibe with the new buildings and notifying the gaming commission on the number of Springfield employees hired.

CEO of MGM Jim Murren says it's been a long journey, but one that was well worth the way.

"This is a very big day for MGM and a greater day for Springfield," he said.

Murren thanked the city, business owners, Mayor Domenic Sarno, and his casino partner, Springfield's Paul Picknelly, who says he can't imagine anyone who will not benefit from the casino downtown.

"It's unfortunate to say that Springfield has been going in the wrong direction for a number of years," Picknelly said. "I think today is an opportunity for us to turn that around, put us in the right direction and have everybody prosper."

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