Mass. Gaming Board Makes Longmeadow A Surrounding Community For Casino Project

NO SUCH LUCK FOR NORTHAMPTON, HAMPDEN

Massachusetts gambling regulators ruled Tuesday that MGM must pay Longmeadow to offset some of the impact of a possible Springfield casino. Two other communities were not as fortunate.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 4-nothing to designate Longmeadow as a surrounding community based on traffic impacts from MGM’s planned casino in Springfield. Stephen Crane is Longmeadow’s town manager.

“To hear an affirmation of what we tried to spell out, our significant, adverse impacts to our infrastructure and our roads and our traffic, it is really good. And I think it sets us up very well to enter into negotiations,” Crane says.

Those negotiations between Longmeadow and MGM will take place over the next month. In previous talks, the town and the casino operator were far apart on how much money Longmeadow should get. Crane says he is ready to try again.

“We will put any past issues aside and focus on the guidance we received from the gaming commission’s debate today and try to work something out that is agreeable,” Crane says.

In a statement, MGM says it remains interested in adding Longmeadow to the list of six other surrounding communities who have signed deals with the casino company.

Meanwhile, the board unanimously voted down Northampton’s petition. Commissioners disagreed with city officials who claimed the casino would hurt the city’s downtown area. It was also a disapointing day for officials from Hampden, who unsuccessfully argued the casino would cause traffic issues in their town.