SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - MGM Springfield doesn't have much time to celebrate because winning in Springfield does not guarantee a casino license. Springfield was the first city, or town, in western Massachusetts to sign a host community agreement with a casino company.
MGM won its competition with Penn National Gaming, but there's a long road ahead before a gaming license is awarded.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and MGM President Bill Hornbuckle signed a host community agreement a day after the city officially selected MGM over Penn National.
"At some point we were told that the economics of the competing proposals were essentially the same and the city was making a decision about the quality of the project and the quality of the company," said Mike Mathis, MGM V.P. of Global Gaming Development.
The next steps are to get the City Council to approve the host community agreement, then hold a city-wide vote.
"I think at the end of the day I think it would be difficult for someone to say that document doesn't represent the best deal for the city," Mathis added.
With a city-wide vote likely to be scheduled in July, MGM President Bill Hornbuckle told the 22News I-Team they're preparing for any size turnout. "Getting the cities support in terms of the citizenry and getting them out come July is critical."
If approved, MGM will then turn its attention to winning the western Massachusetts license, a process Hornbuckle says they've already begun after defeating Penn National in Springfield. "It's winning the license at this point. This was an outright competition. Not that that's not a competitive environment but the environments will shift they are different."
In less than an hour the city council will hear from MGM Representatives and the city's consultant as they get their first hard look at the host agreement.