The mayor of Springfield Massachusetts has announced a delay in negotiations over building a resort casino downtown. The city will take more time to review written proposals from two casino operators competing for the city’s support.
Officials with the Eastern States Exposition have struck a deal with Hard Rock International to pursue a resort casino development on the fairgrounds in West Springfield. According to informed sources the project on the 175 acre property would include a hotel, retail stores and an outdoor concert venue. Brian Griffin, vice chair of the town council, believes the project can overcome what he predicts will be initial resistance on the part of townspeople.
City Councilor James Ferrera, who assured the council a place at the center of the casino debate last year by creating a casino site committee, was re-elected by his colleagues to a rare second consecutive one year term as council president. Ferrera predicted the casino issue would top the council’s agenda in 2013.
A report to the gaming commission last year said there will be ten thousand jobs in the casino industry in Massachusetts. William Messner, president of Holyoke Community College said if there is not a trained pool of local people the casino companies will hire from out of state.
Two high powered casino operators competing to develop projects in Springfield submitted detailed proposals to the city and filed initial applications for a casino license to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.
A company that hopes to develop a casino in Springfield, Mass. says it has paid $650,000 in application fees to the city and state.
Penn National Gaming said in a statement Friday it had submitted a non-refundable, $400,000 application fee to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that was required by Jan. 15 for the company to be considered for a casino license.
The Pennsylvania-based company said it also submitted a $250,000 fee required by the city of Springfield, which is conducting its own casino review process.
The mayor of Holyoke Massachusetts has changed his mind, again, on the casino issue. Mayor Alex Morse’s surprise decision cuts the competition for the lone casino license available in western Massachusetts. WAMC”s Pioneer Valley News Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.
In another stunning switch, Mayor Alex Morse announced Thursday that he once again opposes any casino development in Holyoke. The change came less than three weeks after Morse had angered many of his political supporters by announcing he would open the door to casino developers.
Top executives from casino industry heavyweights MGM Resorts International and Penn National Gaming pitched their competing plans for Springfield Massachusetts last night. The forum drew hundreds of people with questions about the impact of a casino development in downtown Springfield. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.