Casino Regulators To Rule On Claims From Northampton, Hampden And Longmeadow

Officials in fight with MGM over 'surrounding community' cash

State regulators will announce Tuesday whether three Western Massachusetts communities are entitled to money from MGM, as the company seeks to open a casino in Springfield.

The hearing is about what’s called “surrounding community status.” It means a town or city would be impacted by a Springfield casino, and the casino operator – MGM – has to pay up.

MGM signed agreements with a half-dozen communities, but is fighting claims from Northampton, Hampden and Longmeadow.

Longmeadow’s case for cash is perhaps the strongest. The town borders Springfield and says some casino customers from Connecticut would use its roads to get to the gambling.

MGM says Longmeadow just wants the company to shell out millions to pay for existing traffic problems.

If the Massachusetts Gaming Commission sides with any of these communities, MGM must strike a deal or head to arbitration.

Likewise, the commission will decide if two venues in West Springfield, the Majestic Theater and Eastern States Exposition, are eligible for settlements from MGM.

MGM is the only applicant remaining for the casino license reserved for Western Mass.