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MGM Gambles on Springfield, Massachusetts With Ambition and Optimism

MGM Gambles on Springfield

Philip Marcelo of reports that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has named MGM as the state’s first casino operator. MGM had submitted an $800 million proposal for the Springfield, MA construction project.

Given that a voter referendum to repeal the state’s casino law will appear on the November ballot, and Springfield itself has a particularly troubled economy, this is a huge gamble on MGM’s part. But the state is betting that MGM’s deep pockets and brand recognition will draw gamblers from New York and Connecticut and make Springfield a destination casino. It’s a bold and ambitious gamble but one that the Las Vegas-based International gaming resort – having netted $2.6 billion in domestic gambling revenues in 2013 - can certainly afford.

Marcelo writes that the $85 million state licensing fee, typically due within 30 days of being awarded the license, has been postponed and will only be due if the repeal referendum is defeated by voters in November.  

MGM plans to forge ahead with construction planning while awaiting the referendum vote.  Plans include not just a casino complex but also the preservation of historic downtown Springfield buildings and the development of a nearby hotel, bowling alley, public plaza, and movie theater, as well as dining/shopping destinations.

Massachusetts has a gaming giant committed to Springfield once the state sorts through this bout of political gridlock. It will be interesting to see how well a Springfield MGM casino does. But it all hinges on this November’s vote. Which way will Massachusetts’s voters sway?

From “MGM Springfield to Get the State’s 1st Casino License” - courtesy of

”SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — MGM will be named Massachusetts’ first casino operator, but the Las Vegas-based gambling giant will not have to immediately pay millions of dollars in state fees and other payments required by law...”


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