Final Public Hearing In Springfield For Casino Proposal

Gambling regulators are gathering in Springfield on Wednesday for the final public comment session before they award a Western Massachusetts casino license.

Ray Caparelli says if Springfield fails to win the license, there will be little reason for him to stick around.

“You better get that old Gene Autry song, ‘Tumbling [Tumble]weeds,’ because that’s what’s going to be running down the city of Springfield in about eight years,” Caparelli says. “So think this over very carefully. Think it over. All the people who are against this, have yet to come up with a solution to rectify it.”

Most of those speaking at the start of the hearing opposed the Springfield casino plan from MGM resorts, which is the only remaining bid for the license.

“I do not believe that MGM has come even close to meeting the requirements set forth under the regulations for surrounding community support, for economic benefit for the region for a promise of a destination casino, or for ethical behavior,” says Al Cabot. “I urge the commission not to approve this application.”

Another speaker, Ted Steger, brought up a Boston Globe report that five of the candidates for governor want gaming commissioner chair Steve Crosby to resign. That’s after Crosby recused himself from awarding an Eastern Massachusetts casino, citing the appearance of conflicts of interest.