State investigators recommended Monday that MGM Resorts be declared fit to operate a casino, capping a 10-month investigation into the background of the only remaining contender for the sole Western Massachusetts license.
The recommendation came with several conditions, including that MGM explain its business practices in Macau, China, and its association with a former board member convicted of illegal wiretapping and conspiracy. MGM executives, who won the support of Springfield voters in July, answered the investigators’ questions at an all-day hearing Monday before the state gambling commission.
The investigators’ recommendation, however, is not binding on the commissioners, who are expected to issue a final decision on whether the company is suitable to hold a license in coming days. The commissioners did not convey which way they were leaning during the hearing, although their questioning was not overly aggressive.
The commission has said it intends to complete its approval process by awarding the resort licenses in the spring.
Monday’s hearing also was critical for an emerging gambling industry that has been rocked by rejections at the hands of Massachusetts voters and that faces a petition to repeal the 2011 law that legalized Las Vegas-style gambling in Massachusetts.
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