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MGM Springfield Seeks One-year Delay in Casino Opening

SPRINGFIELD — The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will consider a formal request by MGM Springfield to delay the opening of its South End resort casino by one year.

MGM Springfield President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Mathis appeared before the commission on Thursday to discuss the request. He cited, as the main reason, the rehabilitation of the Interstate 91 viaduct through downtown Springfield — a project expected to last into the summer of 2018.

The casino was originally expected to open in late 2017, and Mathis said opening a casino during viaduct construction is not feasible. MGM is asking to open the casino in September 2018, or one month after the completion of viaduct work. The I-91 project is expected to limit the number of lanes in both directions, creating considerable traffic.

Initial viaduct work is expected to start this July, with ramp and lane closures beginning in late fall. The Gaming Commission, which must sign off on any change in the casino construction schedule, could make a decision on at its July meeting.

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