MGM Springfield Passes First Phase for Casino License

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A rendering of MGM Resorts' proposed casino complex in Springfield.

BOSTON — MGM Resorts has passed the first phase in its pursuit of a gaming license for a proposed $800 million casino complex in Springfield.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced on Monday that the company, applying as MGM Springfield, and its qualifiers have earned a positive determination of suitability.

The commission held an adjudicatory hearing on Dec. 9 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center relative to the completion of the background investigation based on the Phase 1 application submitted by MGM Springfield.

As a result of the comprehensive background investigation and deliberation by the full five-member gaming commission, the commission voted unanimously that MGM Springfield had met its burden of proof.

MGM Resorts is hoping to obtain the single resort-casino license for Western Massachusetts. Springfield voters approved a referendum on the venture last July and MGM has already held job fairs. Two other proposals in West Springfield and Palmer failed to gain voter support.

Casino representatives have said the Berkshires will be part of its marketing strategy and that it expects to pump some $50 million into the region and fill 3,000 jobs. Local cultural venues have been concerned that the proximity of a casino will prevent them from booking popular acts.

The application for a gaming license has two parts. The Phase 1 application  focuses on the qualifications and suitability of the applicants and its "qualifiers" (entities and individuals) to hold a gaming license. The Phase 2 application is site specific and focuses on site, design, finance, operation, community mitigation and other attributes of the gaming facility itself. Applicants must pass the first phase to move on to the second.

The full determination can be read here.

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The 6,400 square foot center is designed by Clark & Green Architects. It's expected to take about a year to renovate the structure. 
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