Massachusetts Gaming Commission

MGMSpringfield

Massachusetts casino regulators have approved a redesign of the MGM Springfield casino with the chairman of the state gaming commission saying he remains excited about the project’s potential to lift the economically struggling city.

MGMSpringfield

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is being asked to pay out more than $2.5 million from a special fund to resolve problems blamed on the construction of the MGM Springfield casino.

The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, a community health center, and two suburban municipalities have applied for Community Mitigation funds claiming unexpected costs and other hardships as a result of the casino project.

WAMC

Work has begun to clear the site in Springfield where MGM proposes to build the first casino in western Massachusetts. 

Work crews are tearing down the former Zanetti school building, marking the start of the major demolition work that will precede construction of the planned $950 million resort casino that is scheduled to open to the public in September 2018.

construction workers in front of buidling
WAMC

MGM Resorts International is planning to start demolishing buildings in mid-January to clear the site in downtown Springfield where the company intends to build the first casino in western Massachusetts.  2015 was a year of delay and downsizing for the casino project.

When MGM held the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Springfield casino in late March with the former Zanetti school building as the backdrop for photographs with construction workers and machinery no one would have predicted the building would still be standing nine months later.

The Plainridge casino building and parking lot
NECN

The first Massachusetts casino, Plainridge Park, had customers lined up out the door for the grand opening in July.  But revenue from the casino’s 1,250 slot machines has fallen month after month since the spectacular opening. 

Massachusetts officials this week cut by nearly 40 percent the tax revenue they expect to collect from the casino. 

Clyde Barrow, a University of Texas professor, who has studied the Northeast casino market, sees no cause for alarm.  He spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

Massachusetts gambling regulators are pressing for more details on why the cost of MGM’s planned Springfield casino has ballooned.  The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, during a meeting in Springfield Thursday, heard mixed opinions from the public about changes in the project MGM is proposing in an effort to control the costs.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

The latest plans by MGM Resorts International for building a casino in Springfield will be carefully scrutinized in the next few weeks by local officials and Massachusetts gaming industry regulators.  The public will also have opportunities to comment.

The city of Springfield’s Office of Planning and Economic Development has announced it has received a complete site plan application for the MGM casino project triggering a 30-day internal review and setting the stage for a public hearing by the city council within 45 days.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is scheduled to come to Springfield on December 3 for a public meeting where officials from MGM are expected to present a comprehensive cost and design analysis of the latest plans for a casino in the city.

MGM officials say the budget to develop a resort casino in Springfield has increased to $950 million -- $150 million more than the estimated investment when the gaming commission awarded a license for the project in June 2014.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

The top executive from MGM Resorts International reaffirmed his commitment to the Massachusetts casino project in Springfield this week and apologized for a communications breakdown with City Hall over a proposal to reduce the scope of the development. He also said more changes are in store for the $800 million project, but nothing he would consider major.

Researchers are looking at the impact on Massachusetts from the introduction of large-scale casino gambling.  The project, funded by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, is looking not only at problem gambling, but also at whether the economic benefits touted by casino proponents become reality. Preliminary findings were presented at a recent forum in Springfield sponsored by Partners for a Healthier Community.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the lead investigator, Rachel Volberg of the UMass Amherst School of Public Health.

construction workers in front of buidling
WAMC

MGM wants to shrink by 14 percent its proposed resort casino development in Springfield, Massachusetts. The proposal surprised and angered the city’s mayor, who has been one of the project’s biggest boosters.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

Officials from MGM Resorts Thursday sought to persuade at times skeptical Massachusetts casino industry regulators that proposed design changes to the company’s Springfield casino project would be an improvement and not a downsizing.

An elevated portion of highway in Springfield, Ma.
WAMC

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has approved a delay in the opening date for the MGM Springfield casino because of a highway reconstruction project.   The casino regulators Thursday also signed off on an historic preservation plan that should clear the way for the Las Vegas-based entertainment giant to obtain the final permits required to begin building the state’s first resort casino. 

Paul Tuthill / WAMC

MGM Resorts and historic preservation officials are nearing agreement on buildings targeted for demolition as part of an $800 million casino development in Springfield.

MGM Springfield

A one-year delay in the opening of  the planned resort casino in western Massachusetts because of a major highway project will affect millions of dollars in payments and gambling revenue the state and city of Springfield are counting on.  It would also delay the creation of thousands of jobs.

The Plainridge casino building and parking lot
NECN

Massachusetts enters the casino era today. The state’s first gambling hall opens to the public following a ribbon-cutting ceremony.  The opportunities for people to gamble in the state are likely to grow in the years ahead.

Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg made her first official visit to Springfield Thursday since taking office in January.  She spoke at the dedication of a new $32 million science wing at Central High School.  Goldberg is chair of the state school building authority, which paid for 80 percent of the project.   Following the ceremony, Goldberg spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill about her first three months in office.

MGM Springfield

MGM has scheduled a groundbreaking two weeks from today to begin constructing an $800 million resort casino in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts.

One of the biggest construction projects in a generation in Springfield will begin with the demolition of a former elementary school—the Zanetti school that was damaged by the 2011 tornado. By the end of the year, eighteen more buildings are to be torn down and other work done to prepare a 14.5 acre site for the construction of a parking garage, a hotel, and casino.

MGM Springfield

Now that MGM has won Massachusetts regulatory and voter approval to build a resort casino in downtown Springfield the Las Vegas-based entertainment giant has employment and local purchasing commitments to keep. 

MGM Springfield

The introduction of Las Vegas-style gambling to Massachusetts will proceed at a more rapid pace now that a major hurdle has been cleared.  Voters soundly defeated a ballot question to repeal the 2011 casino law.  

   With the cloud of uncertainty caused by the repeal vote lifted, The Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting in Boston Thursday voted unanimously to formally award licenses to build and operate full-scale destination casinos to MGM Resorts for the company’s Springfield project and to Wynn Resorts in greater Boston.  

Gambling industry regulators in Massachusetts resume deliberations today on awarding the state's most lucrative casino license.

Massgaming.com

Massachusetts gambling industry regulators said today they will be prepared to impose the terms of mitigation payments to the city of Boston from the developer of a proposed casino in a neighboring community.  Boston is boycotting arbitration proceedings with Wynn Resorts – one of two competitors for the lone casino license in eastern Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will not delay a decision on awarding the state’s most lucrative casino license until after the state’s voters weigh in on the fate of casino gambling.  It means the locations of proposed casinos will likely be settled by the time voters go to the polls in November.

WAMC

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has assigned the state’s first resort casino license to MGM.  The entertainment industry giant got the go-ahead from the industry regulators today to build an $800 million casino in downtown Springfield, but a cloud of uncertainty still hangs over the project.

       The unanimous vote by the five-member gaming commission was greeted with a standing ovation from more than 300 people who packed a ballroom inside the MassMutual Convention Center less than a block from where the casino would be built.

MGM Springfield

Massachusetts gaming industry regulators began a final review today of MGM’s proposed casino in Springfield.  It is expected to conclude Friday with a decision to award the state’s first resort casino license.

Massachusetts Gaming Commissioners gave marks of “sufficient” to “outstanding” as they reported publicly on their evaluation of MGM’s application for a gaming license to build an $800 million casino in downtown Springfield.

Massgaming.com

Gaming industry regulators in Massachusetts have announced a revised timetable for issuing resort casino licenses.  Delays are costing the state and municipal governments gaming revenue that budget writers had counted on receiving by now.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is on track to make a decision on June 13th to award the lone resort casino license in western Massachusetts.  The commission chairman says he will be part of the decision- making process.

Chairman Stephen Crosby presided over the commission’s public hearing in Springfield Wednesday, the first public meeting for the gaming regulators since Crosby removed himself last week from any further role in the casino licensing process in the greater Boston area.

WAMC

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is scheduled to hold a final public hearing in Springfield today on the casino proposed by MGM.   It is a last chance for commissioners to gauge public sentiment before completing a lengthy evaluation of the sole resort casino applicant in western Massachusetts.

Questions about ethics and possible conflicts of interest are clouding the effort to bring casino gambling to Massachusetts.  There are calls for the chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to step down, and questions about the impartiality of a justice who will help decide if voters get a say on the fate of casinos.

MGM Springfield

Two western Massachusetts communities that went through an arbitration process to obtain payments intended to offset the impacts of a casino in Springfield appear to have done better financially than municipalities that accepted offers from casino giant MGM Resorts.

   Longmeadow and West Springfield went to arbitration with MGM after failing to reach negotiated settlements with the casino company by an end-of- March deadline established by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.  By then MGM had reached surrounding community agreements with six other municipalities.

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