Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has chosen MGM Resorts International to develop an $800 million casino project in the city’s downtown. It puts MGM one step closer to competing for the lone casino license available in western Massachusett.
Springfield would receive more than $25 million annually in taxes and other payments from MGM Resorts if it is successful in building the resort casino, under the terms of a comprehensive development agreement announced Tuesday by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
Of the four companies competing for the lone casino license available in western Massachusetts, one has stood out when it comes to marketing. MGM Resorts International, which hopes to build a casino in downtown Springfield, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising.
The city of Springfield is seeking an exception to Proposition 2 ½ , the Massachusetts property tax cap law, when it comes to casinos.
An $800 million resort casino could mean tens of millions of dollars annually in additional property taxes for Springfield. But Mayor Domenic Sarno said the city will not get the full financial benefits from a casino development unless a change is made to Prop 2 ½.
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..
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno plans to begin negotiations today with the two casino companies competing for development rights. Top executives from MGM Resorts and Penn National Gaming gave assurances at a public forum on Monday that their projects will not cause monumental traffic problems.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said he appreciates that two world class developers are each prepared to invest up to $1 billion dollars for economic development in downtown Springfield.