gambling

This could be a pivotal week as officials in Springfield, Massachusetts determine how they will respond to the proposed downsizing of the casino planned by MGM Resorts.  The City Council is holding a special meeting this evening. City officials have invited top MGM officials to a meeting later in the week to explain the proposed changes.

Springfield City Council Reacts to MGM Changes

Oct 22, 2015
Karen Brown / NEPR

Most members of Springfield’s city council are expressing grave doubts about the credibility of MGM-Springfield, following the company’s decision to shrink its casino project by 14 percent.

MGM wants to shrink by 14 percent its proposed resort casino development in Springfield, Massachusetts. The proposal surprised and angered the city’s mayor, who has been one of the project’s biggest boosters.

More controversial changes have been proposed in the MGM casino project planned in downtown Springfield

MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis described the latest changes that will reduce the scope of the project by 14 percent as “tweaks.”

He said MGM will still spend in excess of $800 million to build the resort casino and he said the downsizing, will not impact jobs and projected revenue.

" So, we believe the project we are going to deliver will continue to evolve and will be a world class project," said Mathis.

Springfield, Massachusetts city officials were blindsided by the proposed downsizing of the MGM casino project. 

Springfield city officials Tuesday said they are concerned about the potential impact on revenue and jobs from the 14 percent reduction in the scope of the casino project.  Most of the downsizing is planned on the retail and entertainment side, not the gambling floor. 

Mayor Domenic Sarno vowed to hold MGM to its promises to deliver thousands of jobs and $25 million annually to the city.

MGM is scaling down the size of the proposed resort casino project in Springfield, Massachusetts

MGM is reducing the size of the project by 122,000 square feet according to a revised environmental impact report filed with the state.  

Although no change is planned in the size of the casino gambling floor there would be downsizing in the retail, dining and entertainment parts of the project.

Earlier MGM scrapped a planned 25-story hotel.

Springfield City Council President Mike Fenton said once again city leaders were caught off guard by MGM.

Peteg913 (Wikimedia Commons)

The leader of the Connecticut Airport Authority said he wants to bring a casino to Bradley International Airport. 

MGM executives plan to update city officials within 30 days on the Springfield casino project.

MGM said in a news release Wednesday there would be updates on historic preservation discussions, concepts for a new marquee, and developments in offsite housing. 

Last month, MGM shook up city officials with a new design that eliminated a 25-story hotel from the $800 million project. 

City Council President Mike Fenton said MGM has to sweeten the deal with the city, to get the council to OK the new plan.

Christopher Ramirez / Creative Commons

Public radio is one of the few places where you can avoid ads for daily fantasy football companies like DraftKings and FanDuel. If you go anywhere else on the radio dial or turn on the TV, you'll probably encounter at least a few commercials. Now the industry is under intense scrutiny after an employee at DraftKings won $350,000 at FanDuel using insider information.

Wynn Resorts

The battle between casino developer Steve Wynn and the city of Boston is intensifying, with Wynn filing a libel lawsuit against an unidentified foe. 

The president of the Springfield, Massachusetts City Council isn’t giving up on getting a popular vote on MGM’s controversial casino redesign.

City Council President Mike Fenton said he’ll appeal to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to order a binding voter referendum on the proposed new design for the Springfield casino.

Fenton said MGM’s plan to eliminate a 25-story hotel from the project substantially changes the host community agreement Springfield voters approved two years ago.

Updated 9:45 p.m. ET with state attorney general investigation

Two leading fantasy sports companies are promising to protect "the integrity of the games" they offer customers, after questions emerged over whether their employees use proprietary information to win thousands of dollars.

A top official with MGM Resorts International Monday pledged the company’s strong commitment to building a casino in Springfield. MGM upped the ante by announcing plans to take a former school department building off the city’s hands and redevelop it.

A top executive with MGM Resorts International will be in Springfield next week to publically assure the company’s commitment to build a casino in the city.

A private meeting between MGM President Bill Hornbuckle and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, with a press conference to follow, was arranged after MGM disclosed plans to eliminate a 25-story hotel tower from its planned casino and substitute a more modest hotel design. 

“Skyrocketing” construction costs were blamed for the change. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes have taken another step in their quest for a third casino in Connecticut. The two issued a request for proposals, seeking formal bids from towns and landowners who would like to host the facility. 

There will be no voter referendum on the controversial changes proposed in the design of the MGM Springfield casino.

Springfield City Council President Mike Fenton, who had hoped to put a non-binding question on the municipal election ballot to gauge public opinion on MGM’s plan to eliminate the high-rise hotel from the casino project, withdrew his resolution.

" We ran out of time," said Fenton.  " I think it is unfortunate because I believe it deserved further review and consideration."

Wynn Resorts Holdings, LLC

The city of Boston has filed another lawsuit in its attempts to derail a planned $1.7 billion casino in neighboring Everett.

Voters in Springfield may get a chance to weigh- in on the controversial changes proposed for MGM’s resort casino project. 

Springfield City Councilors at a special meeting Tuesday will consider adding a non-binding referendum to the Nov. 3 election ballot. 

The question proposed by council president Mike Fenton asks if voters support changing the development agreement between MGM and the city to eliminate a high-rise glass façade hotel from the casino project.

A top state gambling official says New York remains on track to award up to three long-awaited casino licenses before the end of the year.


Officials from MGM Resorts Thursday sought to persuade at times skeptical Massachusetts casino industry regulators that proposed design changes to the company’s Springfield casino project would be an improvement and not a downsizing.

Wynn Resorts Holdings, LLC

Massachusetts is urging a judge to dismiss lawsuits challenging its decision to award Wynn a casino license.

MGM Springfield

MGM Resorts International has announced plans to reconfigure the hotel it will build as part of its new casino complex in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe / Facebook

Tribal and city officials are touting the economic benefits of a $500 million resort casino that the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe hopes to build in the city of Taunton, Massachusetts, 40 miles south of Boston.

Plans by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to build a casino in Taunton, Massachusetts, will not affect Twin River's quest to create a so-called "convenience casino" in Tiverton, a Twin River spokeswoman said Monday,

"It has no bearing on our plans in Tiverton," spokesman Patti Doyle said.

The Mashpee Wampanoags are staging a noon Monday news conference at Taunton City Hall to discuss their plans.

purple_onion / Creative Commons

It wasn’t that many years ago that gambling was seen as a pretty good bet when it comes to improving the state’s economic situation. In Connecticut, two tribal casinos were thriving and spinning off slot revenues into the general fund. Then came the recession and declining revenues just as other states started to get into the gambling business.

Now, in a move that couldn’t have been predicted a decade ago, both state tribes have agreed to work together on a new casino to help stave off a threat from Massachusetts. That plan is now under legal attack.

MGM Resorts International

MGM Resorts doesn’t have anything nice to say about the newly formalized partnership between the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans in Connecticut. 

The tribes that own Connecticut’s two casinos signed a partnership today to pursue developing a third casino to compete with the planned MGM Resorts casino in Springfield.

MGM has denied it might downsize the $800 million dollar hotel-casino complex planned in Springfield if faced with competition close by in Connecticut. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno Thursday said he expects MGM to build a resort casino that will employ 3,000 people, as promised.

InfoQuarter.com / Creative Commons

The tribes that own Connecticut's two casinos are taking another step in their bid to open a third casino north of Hartford. 

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes hosted a signing ceremony Thursday at the State Capitol in Hartford to formalize their partnership. 

MGM is setting out to fill some of the 2,000 construction jobs that were promised to build the company’s $800 million Springfield casino.

MGM officials are scheduling two days of interviews, Thursday and Friday, with minority-owned and women-owned union construction companies interested in bidding for jobs on the project. 

The Las Vegas-based entertainment company  interviewed veteran-owned businesses in July at its Springfield construction office. 

The first casino in Massachusetts netted $18 million in its first full month in business.

 People gambled $181 million at the Plainridge Park Casino in July, according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.  The casino kept $18 million. Over a full year it works out to $217 million in gross gaming revenue, which would be more than the state’s full-year projection of $200 million.  

Casino industry expert Clyde Barrow said Plainridge Park had a spectacular opening.

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