SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - It is the moment supporters of MGM have been waiting for. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno joined with representatives of MGM Springfield for a ceremony to sign the community host agreement between the city and the company, which hopes to develop a resort casino in the city's South End.
Sarno and MGM Springfield President Bill Hornbuckle spoke before a crowd gathered at the MassMutual Center; one of the venues that MGM hopes to use for entertainment as part of their proposal.
The community host agreement is only one step in the continuing process to develop a casino. The agreement must be approved by the City Council, before it can then be brought forward to the city's voters; which could happen as early as July. Even if voters approve, however, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission would still have to pick MGM's proposal over rival western Massachusetts proposals, including Mohegan Sun's proposed Palmer casino, and Hard Rock International's West Springfield plan.
Hornbuckle told 22News the battle for the gaming license in Western Massachusetts will not be the same as the competition they just won in Springfield.
"This (the Springfield process) was an outright competition, not that this isn't a competitive environment, but environment's will shift they are different," he said.
In a story you first saw reported by the 22News I-Team on WWLP.com , Mayor Sarno chose to come to an agreement with MGM over a rival proposal by Penn National Gaming to develop a casino in the North End.