Final Public Hearing on Springfield Casino Proposal
Last July voters in Springfield, Massachusetts approved a proposal by MGM Resorts International for an $800 million resort-casino in the town. This Wednesday the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will hold a final public hearing on the project ahead of a decision due in June. It is the only proposal to progress this far in the competition for the state’s only western region casino license.Local residents are in favor of the project as they hope it will restore economic viability to the town and attract more outside visitors. Jeffrey Cuiffreda, president of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, believes that the MGM project will revitalize the local economy. He pointed out that the casino has pledge to spent $50 million on local goods and services each year.
The casino could also help the Springfield city government which only emerged from state control in 2009. MGM has promised to pay Springfield $15 million up-front and $25 million per year once the casino is running.
Of course there is opposition to the project. Some residents are worried that the casino will just attract poor and working class residents while some local businesses are worried about having to relocate to make way for the casino.