Officials in Springfield Massachusetts are implementing a plan to address what they say is a public safety perception problem in the city’s downtown.   It is important to existing business owners and to a possible future big business—a resort casino. 

MGM Springfield

City officials in Springfield, Massachusetts have begun a voter education campaign in advance of the July 16th referendum on the casino project proposed by MGM Resorts.  Supporters of a  rival casino project in western Massachusetts are also gearing up for a referendum campaign, although no date has been set for the vote in Palmer.

The state's gambling commission has voted to allow failed applicants for casino licenses in eastern or western Massachusetts the opportunity to compete for the sole license in southeastern Massachusetts.

The motion was approved on Thursday by the panel, which had earlier voted to open the southeast region to commercial casino bids. The Mashpee Wampanaog tribe previously enjoyed exclusivity in the region while it pursued regulatory approvals for a proposed resort casino in Taunton.


The casino project proposed in downtown Springfield Massachusetts by MGM Resorts International has cleared another hurdle. The city council unanimously endorsed the project Friday night and authorized a city wide voter referendum.

   The vote by the Springfield City Council came after about 90 minutes of debate during a special meeting Friday night and was greeted by cheers in the packed council chambers.

MGM Springfield

The city council in Springfield Massachusetts will hold a special meeting on Friday to debate a proposed casino development deal with MGM Resorts.

   City Council President James Ferrera said there is no need to rush a vote on the host community agreement that was signed last week by Mayor Domenic Sarno and a top MGM official. Ferrera, on Monday, invoked a procedural rule to postpone  debate on the agreement because he said he has questions about it.

The ante has been upped in the competition for a resort casino development in western Massachusetts.

The company that owns land in Palmer off the Massachusetts Turnpike where Mohegan Sun hopes to build a resort casino announced plans Monday for a commercial development with stores, restaurants and a small hotel adjacent to the site of the proposed casino. Leon Dragone, manager of Northeast Reality Associates  said this would be built well before the state makes a decision on awarding a casino license in western Massachusetts.

MGM Springfield

City councilors in Springfield Massachusetts  appear ready to act quickly on the proposed casino development agreement with MGM Resorts International.   The casino operator wants the citywide voter referendum to take place in mid-July.  Casino opponents have little time to mount an effective campaign. 

Triin Q's photostream Flickr

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders tried to jumpstart negotiations over siting several new gambling casinos in New York. But they also conceded that the plans might be delayed for another year.

Legislative leaders and Governor Cuomo met for the first time together in over a month, and they focused on an issue they had originally hoped to settle in the budget, the expansion of gambling in New York.

5/2/13 - Panel

May 2, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, WAMC newsman Ray Graf and University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao. Joe Donahue moderates.


  • More Boston Arrests
  • Tracking Foreigners
  • Civil Liberties Poll
  • Casino Gaming Expansion
  • Average Albany

The mayor of Springfield Massachusetts and a top official with MGM Resorts International signed a casino development deal on Wednesday.  The signing ceremony marks the start of a campaign to convince the city’s voters to ratify the agreement.