Following Tuesday’s defeat of a ballot initiative to overturn the state’s casino law, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday formally awarded licenses to MGM Resorts and Wynn to operate casinos in Springfield and Everett.
The $1.6 billion Everett casino plan prevailed over Mohegan Sun’s $1.3 billion proposal for a casino in Revere, next to the Suffolk Downs racetrack and on the East Boston border.
Consultants representing casino operator MGM say they plan to coordinate their construction schedule around the renovation of I-91 in downtown Springfield. They presented details to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Thursday.
MGM officials say they have been working with local agencies on a number of issues such as utilities for the proposed casino, traffic improvement and starting the permitting process.
Casinos coming to Massachusetts are no sure thing. That’s after last month’s ruling by the state’s highest court that allows a repeal question to go before voters in November. However, the behind-the-scenes work continues to develop a workforce for a Bay state casino industry.
The much-awaited Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision concerning casinos came down Tuesday morning. The court ruled unanimously to allow a question on the November ballot, asking voters if they want to repeal the state’s casino law.
Some residents are hopeful about economic recovery; others warn against potential problems.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is due back in Springfield Wednesday for a final public hearing on MGM’s $800 million casino proposal.
Researchers say a study on the impact of casinos in Massachusetts is the first of its kind because they are collecting data now, before any casinos open in the state.
A decision is expected in May and MGM is the only remaining applicant for the casino license reserved for western Massachusetts. But the commission has the option of starting the process all over again.
The meeting will allow residents one last chance to speak their minds, but members of a prominent group opposing a Springfield casino are not going to show up.
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.
Penn National casino company has a month to pay the $25 million license fee. That’s quite a price tag given a proposed ballot question seeks to roll back Massachusetts’ casino law.
It was a strong day for Leominster during a hearing before casino regulators. The central Massachusetts city is among three communities vying to host a slots parlor.
There were handshakes, hugs and high fives all around as hundreds of casino supporters at Suffolk Downs heard the news: the proposed casino, which just four months ago seemed doomed, was back on track.