SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - MGM has become the first gaming company in western Massachusetts to get past a referendum vote, but even though MGM won, that does not guarantee a casino will be coming to Springfield's South End.
This victory will now advance MGM to the next step, which will be to officially apply for the western Massachusetts gaming license. From there, MGM would have to win the approval of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission , and that decision isn't expected to come until April 2014.
MGM also has some competition from rival casino proposals: Hard Rock in West Springfield and Mohegan Sun in Palmer. Over the next nine months, MGM says it'll work with the surrounding communities and help them understand the positive impacts of their casino project.
"We're talking about the entire region getting 90% of those 3,000 jobs. So where we begin to focus now, is to tie in the rest of the region to their benefits for Springfield to get the casino license," explained Kelley Tucky of MGM Springfield.
"We are ideally positioned, particularly on the I-91 corridor, to reach down into Connecticut and pull some of those revenues and those tax dollars back up here. So instead of consistently tax dollars flowing in Connecticut--in terms of gaming revenues--we're going to go get them and bring them back," said Bill Hornbuckle, President of MGM Springfield.
The votes were tallied Tuesday night, and here's where they stand Wednesday morning:
- 58% said "YES" to a casino.
- 42% said "NO" to a casino.
- Voter turnout: 24%.
22News is your home for complete coverage on the race for the sole western Massachusetts casino license, so be sure to stay with us on air, online, and on the go for the latest developments as this process continues.