Massachusetts is one step closer today to playing host to a casino after MGM Resorts International and the city of Springfield negotiated a host community agreement. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno approved the agreement, one which would fatten the city’s wallet by up to $15 million in advance and $25 million annually once up and running.
According to the agreement summary posted below, the annual $25 million fee will come in the form of property tax payments, community impact payments, community development grants, Riverfront Park improvements and surrounding community payment savings.
MGM was competing with Penn National Gaming for a spot in Massachusetts’ third largest city and was ultimately chosen because of its proposed location, payments to the community at large, and number of proposed jobs both full-time and part-time. According to MassLive, MGM’s $800 million casino will “provide no fewer than 3,000 jobs including at least 2,200 full time jobs.”
MGM looks to build on 10 acres of land in Springfield’s South End neighborhood which was tarnished by a surprise tornado in 2011. Conversely, Penn sought 13 acres of land in the city’s North End neighborhood, which according to the Boston Globe “ is now home to a newspaper and a bus terminal.”
The gaming legislation passed by Massachusetts allows for no more than three regional casino resorts in the state. Three other proposals are being considered in Western Massachusetts with Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority vying for a spot in Palmer, MA and Hard Rock International looking to West Springfield, MA.
Though the proposal was agreed by Sarno, he isn’t the sole deciding factor. It must also receive approval from the city council and by city voters; a referendum is slated for July 16. And then, of course, theres the Massachusetts Gaming Commission which will weigh every option and give its stamp of approval before anything else is done.