SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - MGM, Ameristar and Penn National gaming have given Springfield their proposals and a $50,000 application fee. Hard Rock International did not.
Springfield's casino deadline was 2pm Thursday. Hard Rock International, which had expressed interest in Springfield, told 22News it is still exploring its options in Massachusetts, just not Springfield. Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby told 22News he has encouraged casino developers to look at Eastern Massachusetts, where Suffolk downs is the only known applicant.
Penn National Gaming announced it's plans for a more than $800 million resort casino in Springfield's North End. This includes the building the Republican newspaper is in. This is a partnership with Peter Picknelly of Peter Pan Bus Lines.
MGM handed in it's proposal Thursday morning. An $800 million project in the cities South End.
Ameristar handed in its proposal Wednesday. A more than $900 million resort casino on land it has bought off of Page Boulevard in East Springfield. They do not have a drawing of their plan just yet.
Springfield's Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy told 22News all three casinos can advance to phase 2.
"Phase 2 will be much more detailed, it is more lengthy, and will result in negotiation of a host community agreement, site and everything that goes with it", says Kennedy.
Mohegan Sun in Palmer is also in the running for a Western Massachusetts casino.
Springfield will announce which casinos will advance to phase 2 by November 1st. The $150,000 the city got for the application fee will be used to cover some study and consulting costs.
Eric Schippers of Penn National Gaming told 22News why Penn National selected its North End location. "We want to create a project that is going to work in partnership with other downtown urban businesses It was important to us to follow the urban renewal model as opposed to developing out in the middle of nowhere."
Schippers is referring to Mohegan Sun's plans for a casino in Palmer.
Troy Stremming of Ameristar casinos told 22News they have not paid the state the $400,000 fee because if they don't advance in Springfield's process, that money would basically be thrown away. MGM is the only casino developer in Western Massachusetts to pay the state that application fee.