MGM Resorts International is proposing a large casino resort to be located in the downtown Springfield area. Along with an 89,000 square feet casino, the $800M project would include 15 acres of property, including a 250 room hotel, wide variety of retail shops, variety of restaurants providing a formal as well as casual dining experience, night clubs, pool, and a health spa. The property would also house banquet and meeting areas, a 12-screen cinema, bowling lanes, and residential property in the form of one and two bedroom apartments.
Thanks to the state’s new gambling laws, the MGM Resorts International was able to apply for a casino gaming license. During a recent election, a majority of Springfield voters approved; but MGM still has a way to go before they can start building. MGM faces competition from two other gambling casinos. The Mohegan Sun and Hard Rock have applied for casino gambling licenses in the area. Mohegan Sun has proposed a project in Palmer, while Hard Rock has proposed a project for West Springfield.
MGM Resorts’ proposed casino project would bring significant revenue to the western Massachusetts area that would help pump up the economy. A natural gas explosion brought major trauma to an area near Springfield in November 2012. In addition, a tornado in 2011 brought major devastation to the city itself. According to plans, the casino project would be located in that same area.
Even though the project promises to bring much needed revenue to the area, opposition does exist. Opposers feel that having a casino in the area would promote irresponsible gambling which could lead to financial problems among low-income residents and the elderly on fixed incomes. Opposing residents also feel that the project could increase crime in that area and be the source of major traffic problems. However, the project would bring much needed jobs, including temporary construction jobs while the project is being built. MGM Resorts is planning to offer the Springfield area first priority for jobs with strong consideration for residents in surrounding cities and towns.
MGM Resorts International is one of the largest gaming and hospitality companies in the world with casino properties in Nevada, Mississippi, Michigan, and outside the United States in China. They also own and operate non-casino properties such as high-rise condominiums in Las Vegas, NV as well as overseas.