Western Massachusetts
2:26 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Gambling Regulators in Massachusetts Begin Review of Proposed Springfield Casino

State gambling regulators considering awarding the state's first casino license to MGM Resorts International have given its proposed $800 million casino in Springfield high marks for its finances and its building and site design.

A regulator reviewing MGM's finances and projected revenues for the casino gave a largely positive assessment. Massachusetts Gaming Commission member Enrique Zuniga developed the report, and presented it at a Tuesday hearing. He said the casino would draw largely from western and central Massachusetts, and nearby Connecticut.

Zuniga said the casino's likely market represents between $416 million to $485 million in potential annual revenue, based on the commission's independent financial advisors. 

Earlier in the day, Commission member James McHugh praised the casino's plan to redevelop a section of the city badly damaged during a 2011 tornado. He also noted its efforts to preserve historic buildings, and its pledge to add new amenities, including retail storefronts, a public plaza, "luxury" cinema, bowling alley, and a trolley stopping at city attractions.

Each of the five commission members is presenting a report on an aspect of MGM's proposal, including finances, economic development potential, and impacts to local services.

The commission hopes to begin discussing the terms and conditions of the license on Wednesday, as it prepares to issue a final award by Friday.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.