BOSTON - Voters in Springfield, Mass., approved a host community agreement with MGM Resorts International Tuesday, a significant step forward for the company’s plan to build a major resort casino complex in the city’s South End, the Boston Business Journal reported Wednesday.
By a vote of 58 percent to 42 percent, with 24.7 percent of eligible voters turning out, residents passed the agreement and cleared MGM to move on to the next step, consideration by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The commission is considering conferring three licenses for new resort casinos, including one in Western Massachusetts. Mohegan Sun and Hard Rock International have also proposed casinos in the region.
MGM has said its proposed $800 million complex would bring 3,000 permanent jobs and 2,000 construction jobs to the city, and the potential for an influx of private hiring was widely cited as proponents’ top reason for approving the plan.
Opponents have warned that a new casino would increase problem gambling and traffic while damaging local small businesses.
Now the proposal heads to the gaming commission, where the chairman has said that economic and jobs potential, design, community mitigation and the local margin of victory will all be factors in deciding which Western Massachusetts casino to select.