SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - In a little more than one month, Springfield voters will decide the fate of MGM's project in the city.
There is an anti-casino group in Springfield hoping voters say "No" on July 16th.
Before MGM's $800 million casino proposal gets to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission , Springfield voters need to approve it. Dr. Mark Mullen is with the group, Citizens Against Casino Gaming and they want voters to hear their case.
"We think the best way to do it. Have us sitting side by side debating the issues and we do see quite a few problems," said Dr. Mark Mullen.
Both Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and MGM declined their invitations. The anti-casino group has tried other tactics like asking the Gaming Commission to look into MGM's investors for a potential conflict of interest. Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby has already told 22News MGM could replace any investors that aren't found suitable without any penalty.
"I think we just see that as one more important issue that the public doesn't know about and to let them that there are a lot of things going on that doesn't exactly meet the eye," said Dr. Mullen.
The anti-casino group doesn't have the money that MGM has but is hoping a potential low voter turnout on July 16th will help their cause.
"We believe if we get our voters out, we do have a chance in the referendum," said Dr. Mullen.
Springfield held casino referendums in 1994 and 1995; both failed by slim margins. That was without any of MGM's flashy promotion they've been doing in the city.
Win or lose, MGM will pay the $220,000 the referendum will cost the city.