MGM Springfield casino

WAMC

Hundreds gathered today for the official groundbreaking of the MGM Springfield casino. The event marked a milestone in the development of the casino industry in Massachusetts and the planned transformation of downtown Springfield.

Against the backdrop of a tornado-damaged nearly century old former elementary school MGM officials welcomed elected officials, business and civic leaders, neighborhood residents, and state gaming industry regulators to celebrate the symbolic kickoff of construction of the state’s first casino resort.

A casino arms race is occurring across the Northeast.  States from New York to Maine are looking to expand gambling options for their residents and visitors.  Casino industry expert Clyde Barrow of the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley sees continued escalation.

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.

Triin Q's photostream Flickr

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts is poised to approve a casino ethics ordinance, but the city’s mayor has been silent so far on the issue.

The Springfield City Council is expected to give final approval at its next regular meeting to an ordinance that would put restrictions on public officials obtaining jobs at the new MGM casino being built in the city.  Supporters say it is intended to foster public trust in the municipal decision making surrounding the casino project.

MGM Springfield

The recent snowstorms have wreaked havoc on work, school, and personal schedules. The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts is holding a special meeting later today. Three previously scheduled sessions were cancelled because of snow.          

Council business that was postponed by the snowstorms includes a vote on a casino ethics ordinance that would bar elected city officials – the councilors and the mayor -- from accepting jobs with MGM Springfield for three years after leaving the city’s employment.

WAMC

A substance abuse treatment center for jail inmates from throughout western Massachusetts is being forced from its longtime location for construction of the MGM Springfield casino.  The search is on for a new home for the program, but time and money are obstacles.

MGM Springfield

MGM is planning a spring groundbreaking for the $800 million resort casino the Las Vegas-based entertainment giant is building in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts. Several important steps in the complex project will happen over the next few weeks.

Although construction cranes won’t appear in the sky for several months, workers and visitors in downtown Springfield will shortly notice changes as MGM prepares the 14.5 acre site for the project that promises to transform Springfield, economically and culturally, for decades to come.

MGM Springfield

The Springfield, Massachusetts city council is considering an ordinance that would put restrictions on public officials obtaining jobs at the new MGM casino being built in the city.

Under a proposed municipal ethics ordinance, the city’s elected officials—the mayor and 11 city councilors – would be barred for at least five years from obtaining a job at the MGM casino after leaving the city’s employment.  Non-elected officials who are considered “major policymakers” would face a two-year ban.

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

Public officials in areas denied casinos have begun to raise their voices. This comes on the heels of Governor Andrew Cuomo's letter to the state Gaming Commission, urging the panel to reopen bidding for a casino in the Southern Tier. New hopes have emerged for two failed projects.

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

Months of discussion about jobs, development and construction came to naught for several losing communities last week when just three casino projects got the green light from New York state’s gaming commission. But, communities and developers that lost casino bids are on the rebound.

Last week, the state’s Gaming Facility Location Board rejected 13 proposals in favor of projects in Sullivan, Seneca and Schenectady counties.

Pages