SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – While MGM Springfield and it’s online partners continue to campaign for a license to take sports wagers, local and state politicians say they aren’t honoring the community-host agreement.
State Representative Bud Williams and Springfield City Councilor Malo Brown are calling for the Gaming Commission to review the casino’s diversity performance in hiring and their contributions to economic development downtown, at the request of their constituents, who they say are voicing their displeasure.
“People have been buzzing for a while. They are not happy with MGM,” said Rep. Williams.
Now the main concern of Rep. Williams and other local leaders in calling these meetings is the community host agreement. He told 22News he did vote in favor of it five years ago but the casino has fallen short in his estimation on their end of the bargain. Particularly on the economic development portion for the downtown area of Springfield.
“Restaurants are not open. The Chandler Steakhouse which was highly profile doesn’t appear to be open like it should be. The corner of State and Main, they were supposed to rehab that building five years ago. I’m not trying to be picky but the candle place is supposed to be open… it’s closed,” said Williams.
Another major portion of the host agreement, growing the local workforce. Data shows that they opened with nearly 3,000 employees before reducing their peak-pandemic workforce to less than 200 positions.
“In terms of hiring, they’re around 1,300 according to their last report. They project 3,000,” said Williams.
22News did contact representatives with MGM Springfield for their take on the community host agreement but did not respond back yet.