The outcome of negotiations between MGM and a pair of communities surrounding Springfield will soon be in the hands of an arbitrator. Longmeadow and West Springfield were unable to reach deals with the casino company.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission wanted casino applicants to make nice with their neighbors, and pay-up to offset the expected costs of a casino, like for traffic and public safety.
MGM, which wants to set up shop in downtown Springfield, did make deals with a half-dozen communities. But they got nowhere with Longmeadow or West Springfield.
An independent arbitrator must be picked to settle the score. And this week, West Springfield Mayor Ed Sullivan says, the city will have to come up with “our last and best offer.”
“We did have a few meetings,” Sullivan says. “We thought they were productive. However, we thought at some point – which is the end of the process – we had to agree to disagree.”
The arbitrator has until mid-April to issue a final ruling.
This whole casino application process is scheduled to wrap-up by the end of April when the gaming commission awards the single resort casino license reserved for western Massachusetts. MGM is the only remaining applicant.