Clergy in western Massachusetts vow to spread an anti-casino message in advance of next Tuesday’s voter referendum in Springfield on MGM Resorts’ $800 million project. The casino operator on Monday promoted opportunities for minority and women owned businesses.
Pastors representing the Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts announced plans at a Monday news conference to hold an anti-casino rally, stage leaflet drops, publish a position paper and have people stand in front of dozens of churches this weekend holding signs urging a “no” vote next Tuesday.
A group working to defeat next month’s casino referendum in Springfield Massachusetts is holding a campaign kickoff event this Wednesday. One of the scheduled speakers is Robert Steele. He is a former Congressman from Connecticut who witnessed the growth of casino gambling in Connecticut in the 1990s. He is the author of the novel, The Curse: Big-time Gambling’s Seduction of a Small New England Town.
The lure of thousands of jobs in the fledgling Massachusetts gaming industry is powerful in the greater Springfield area, where unemployment remains high. One of the companies competing for the lone casino license available in western Massachusetts is holding a career fair to show off the types of jobs being promised.
The two companies competing to build a resort casino in Springfield Massachusetts have affirmed local hiring goals.
Penn National Gaming says its goal is to hire 90 percent of its workforce from the city of Springfield. MGM Resorts said 35 percent of its employees would be city residents, and 90 percent would live in the Greater Springfield area. William Ward, held of the Hampden Regional Employment Board said the agency will work with whichever company gets the casino license
A consortium of community colleges plans to offer casino job training courses..
Officials in Springfield Massachusetts are hoping to wrap up negotiations with would-be casino developers in time for a voter referendum to coincide with the June 25 special election for US Senate. City officials are also considering how to spend the financial windfall they hope a casino brings.
While the Massachusetts Gaming Commission does not expect to award the first casino license in the state until a year from now, plans are underway to start training people to fill the thousands of jobs the new gaming industry promises.