SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Springfield could move one step closer in the casino development process Monday night. Councilors might vote on when to hold the casino referendum. But will Springfield voters swarm the polls this summer, or have a series of special elections left them exhausted?
If Springfield City Councilors approve MGM's referendum date request, voters will head to the polls on July 16 to decide if they want a casino in their city. But after the special US Senate primary April 30, and the general election coming up June 25, will voter fatigue take a toll? Voters on both sides of the issue told 22News they wouldn't miss it.
"I'll be out there, sure I will. It is important to me because I think the city needs a change. It's my duty and I like to participate in everything that I can," said Nancy Dividu of Springfield.
"I like gambling and I like to go to casinos in Connecticut. I don't think in Massachusetts I would like it because I'd be there all the time and I'd probably run out of money," said Robert Cote of Springfield.
But other Springfield voters aren't so sure they'll make it to the polls for they referendum vote. They think it's already a done deal.
"I have voted twice no for a casino referendum in the past in the city and it's happening anyway. No, I probably won't come and vote, no," said Mark Jacobson of Springfield.
If Springfield voters approve a casino, and if the state grants MGM the gaming license, MGM hopes to open its doors in Springfield in July 2016. But if Springfield votes "NO" on the casino question, MGM cannot submit a new casino plan for another six months.
If city councilors don't approve MGM's July 16 request Monday night, they must choose another date after July 9, but no later than August 8.