The MGM Resorts plan to build a casino in Springfield scored consistently high marks this week in an exhaustive state review of the project, easily passing a final test before the project can earn the sole Western Massachusetts resort casino license.
In a two-day public review of the $800 million proposal, members of the state gambling commission praised the proposed resort’s “inside-out design” and integration into downtown Springfield, as well as its marketing strategy and its potential to compete with the tribal casinos in Connecticut.
“The project is ambitious, innovative, and exciting, in the context of a city shrewdly and comprehensively attempting to renew its economic, social, and cultural health,” gambling commission chairman Stephen Crosby said during a commission review meeting Wednesday in Springfield.
The commissioners agreed in a 5-to-0 vote Wednesday that they are prepared to award the license to MGM if the company accepts a list of conditions on the license. Details of a final agreement should be worked out by Friday.
Because of MGM’s concerns about a citizen-led effort to repeal the state’s 2011 casino law, the commission intends to designate MGM as the winner Friday, but to delay formally awarding the license until the repeal effort is settled, a commission spokeswoman said.
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