MGM Resorts International Accepts Massachusetts Casino License
BOSTON — MGM Resorts International received a unanimous vote from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) on Thursday, officially granting MGM Springfield a license to operate a resort casino in downtown Springfield.
In June, the MGC entered into an agreement to award MGM Resorts the Region B Category 1 license upon final resolution of a ballot initiative to make gaming illegal in Massachusetts. On Tuesday, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly supported keeping the gaming statute in place.
“This has been one of the most exciting weeks in MGM’s history,” said James Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International. “We are grateful to the voters of the Commonwealth, and especially the people of Springfield, for voting for jobs and economic opportunities. Today we want to thank the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for formalizing our agreement that will allow us to revitalize a great downtown.”
MGM will pay its $85 million licensing fee to the commission on Nov. 17. Following the historic vote, MGM Springfield immediately began work on the property. On Wednesday morning, heavy equipment was at Howard Street School to conduct geotechnical soil assessments. The site will house a 3,500-space parking garage. This is the first time since 2012, when MGM first formally announced its interest in a resort casino in Springfield, that construction activity has taken place on the site. It signals the kickoff to early preparations for a spring 2015 groundbreaking.
“It is extremely gratifying to have equipment on site, not only because it signals the start of the work, but because the people of Springfield no longer have to imagine MGM Springfield,” said President Michael Mathis. “Their future is now.”