SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - We are learning new details from city officials in Springfield about the news that MGM is in talks to potentially buy the Wynn casino property in Everett.
The biggest thing that city and MGM officials want to reiterate to the public is that these are very preliminary discussions.
Wynn's $2 billion-resort is scheduled to open next month in Everett.
In a joint statement released Friday, MGM Resorts International and Wynn resorts say they have engaged in conversations around the potential sale of the property.
Under current Massachusetts Gaming Commission rules, MGM is only allowed to have one gaming license, which they now have in Springfield.
Michael Fenton is chair of the city council's Casino Oversight Committee.
He tells Western Mass News this is not the first time MGM has taken part in discussions like these.
"We've heard about it in Windsor. We've heard about it in Enfield, Hartford, southern Connecticut and in Everett in the past, and, in those situations, it hasn't manifested itself in an actual transaction taking place," says Fenton.
Fenton says MGM can't just leave the city without permission from the city council and the mayor.
It's in the terms of their Host Community Agreement.
"They're the largest entertainment company in the world and one of the most attractive casino brands, and that's why we wanted them here in Springfield, so I'm not alarmed that they're having the discussions, but, if it does become something more than a discussion, then I will become concerned and take steps to protect the city's interests," stated Fenton.
In a statement to Western Mass News, Mayor Domenic Sarno says he spoke with Bill Hornbuckle, the president of MGM Resorts International, Thursday night, and that...
"The biggest take here is that bill reassured me of their commitment to the city of Springfield and I will always continue to stand and fight for what is best for our city of Springfield."
"At this point, I don't think it's cause for alarm. It's a private company. They can have discussions as much as they'd like. This isn't the first nor is it the last time that MGM has talked publicly about its interest in other casino companies."
The company went on to assure us that these conversations will not impact jobs at the facilities, nor the opening of Encore Boston next month.