The effort to bring casino gambling to Massachusetts is “on the verge of being a mess,” according to a gaming policy expert. Voters in Palmer and East Boston rejected casino projects on Election Day. There is the possibility some casino developers won’t pass a strict background check. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Clyde Barrow, a professor of public policy at UMass Dartmouth, who specializes in the gaming industry. He asked Barrow to assess the current state of casino development in Massachusetts
Mohegan Sun plans to ask for a recount of Tuesday’s referendum in Palmer where voters by a narrow margin rejected the company’s plans for a $1 billion resort casino. If the results stand, it will leave MGM in Springfield as the only company left to apply for the lone casino license available in western Massachusetts.
The casino referendum was defeated by a vote of 2,657 to 2,564—a margin of 93 votes—according to final, but unofficial, results announced Tuesday night by the Palmer Town Clerk’s office. Turnout was an astounding 66 percent of the town’s registered voters.
A decision on whether MGM Resorts International is suitable to hold a casino license in Massachusetts is expected to be made by gaming industry regulators in the next two months. Passing the mandatory background investigation in Massachusetts is proving to be no easy feat.
When casino industry giant Caesars Entertainment, which has stakes in more than 50 casino operations in the United States and seven countries, was abruptly dropped two weeks ago as the operator of a proposed Boston casino, it rang alarm bells in Springfield.
Voters in West Springfield on Tuesday delivered a knockout punch to casino industry giant Hard Rock. The vote to reject an $800 million dollar casino project leaves just two competitors standing for the lone casino license that will be issued in western Massachusetts.
By a lopsided margin of 55 to 45 percent, West Springfield voters turned down a development agreement that could have seen Hard Rock build a casino, hotel, and year-round concert venue on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition, home of the annual Big E agricultural fair.
Some members of the faith-based community in western Massachusetts are starting to talk about ways to help people whom they believe will be harmed when a casino opens. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is on track to award a casino license to one of three competitors in the region by April 2014. A casino could open in 2016. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Bishop Douglas Fisher of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts.
MGM Resorts International has cleared a major hurdle in the competition to build a casino in western Massachusetts. Voters in Springfield, in a citywide referendum Tuesday, endorsed the company’s plan for an $800 million project in the south end of the city’s downtown.
MGM officials declared a landslide victory after unofficial results from the Springfield election department showed the citywide referendum passed by 58 percent “yes” to 42 percent “no.” Just under twenty-five percent of the city’s registered voters went to the polls.
Voter turnout is described as good for today’s casino referendum in Springfield Massachusetts. Voters will either endorse or reject an $800 million casino development proposed for downtown Springfield by MGM Resorts.
Springfield Election Commissioner Gladys Oyola said it appears voter turnout is on pace to reach 25 percent by the time the polls close at 8 p.m. That would be considered a good turnout, and a far cry better than three weeks ago when just 15 percent of the city’s voters went to the polls for the special election for U.S. Senate.
Voters in Springfield, Massachusetts go to the polls today for a referendum on MGM Resorts’ proposal to build an $800 million resort casino in the city’s downtown. State law gives local voters the right to weigh in before a developer can even apply for a casino license.