Cities and towns have until late next week to file paperwork with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission claiming they will be impacted negatively by a casino.
MGM Springfield has reached deals with 5 communities which abut Springfield to help cover the cost of things such as traffic mitigation and road improvements if a casino comes to town. State law requires operators to negotiate with nearby cities and towns. Despite being about 20 minutes north of Springfield, Northampton Mayor David Narkiewicz says he plans to petition the gaming commission to force MGM to the table.
“I would argue that we will be impacted by essentially an $800-million monopoly that’s being set up by the state, that is also going to be providing, in addition to gaming, entertainment, restaurants, retail, etcetera.”, Narkiewicz says.
In Holyoke, a spokesperson for mayor Alex Morse says the city is currently in talks with MGM about deal which would focus on workforce development and other financial arrangements. She says Holyoke will turn to the gaming commission if talks fail. In a statement, MGM says in their negotiations, they are trying to achieve the best result for western Massachusetts and will continue to talk to other communities based on their proximity to the project.