Three well-known casino developers met Thursday’s deadline to submit a formal proposal and a $50,000 fee to the City of Springfield and will compete for the city’s support in pursuit of casino development rights in Western Massachusetts.
MGM Resorts, Penn National Gaming, and Ameristar will battle for the city’s favor, each proposing a gambling resort development approaching $1 billion.
Hard Rock International, which had expressed interest in Springfield and pursued land downtown, did not submit a proposal and will not compete in the city.
The 2011 state casino law allots one resort casino license for Western Massachusetts. In addition to the three companies in Springfield, the operators of the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut have proposed a resort in Palmer. The state gambling commission will eventually decide which project will be licensed.
Mayor Domenic Sarno has set up a local contest to evaluate the casino projects in Springfield. His administration set the Thursday deadline for casino operators to submit financial information about their companies and rough outlines of their projects. The city will demand more detailed information about each project later, and Sarno is expected to choose one or two winners with whom to negotiate the terms by which the city would agree to host a gambling resort.
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