SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has decided to negotiate a final host community agreement with both MGM and Penn National gaming; the two casino companies that want to develop on sites in the city.
"After careful review and consideration of the proposals submitted by MGM and Penn JV in response to the City's Phase II-Request for Qualifications/Request for Proposals; I have decided that both proposals have qualified to proceed to this next step in the selection process," Sarno said in a statement sent to 22News.
MGM has a proposed plan in the South End of Springfield. Penn National Gaming has a proposed plan in Springfield's North End. Penn National is a 50/50 partner with Peter Picknelly of Peter Pan Bus Lines on this project.
The fact that the City will negotiate with both developers does not mean that an agreement will be reached either developer. Any agreement will have be agreed to by both the City Council and the voters of Springfield.
Only one casino may be developed in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, or Berkshire County, and in Western Massachusetts there are at least two more developers interested.
Hard Rock is considering developing a resort style casino on part of the "Big E" grounds in West Springfield. Mohegan Sun wants to build off of the Mass Pike in Palmer. Two gaming companies have applied in Massachusetts, but have not yet disclosed their desired location.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission must find if each casino operator is suitable. The Gaming Commission will announce its findings within a six months of the companies handing in their RFA-1 proposals to the state. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is expected to release its suitability findings for these companies by the end of June.