MGM Resorts International on Thursday received a unanimous vote from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission officially granting the company a licence to operate a casino resort in downtown Springfield. The license is effective today, MGM Resorts said in a statement.
In June, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission had entered into an agreement to award MGM Resorts a gaming licence upon the result of a ballot to repeal a law enacted in 2011 that allows gaming resorts in Massachusetts. On Tuesday, Massachusetts’s voters decided to keep the gaming statute in place, allowing the project to go ahead.
“We are grateful to the voters… and especially the people of Springfield for voting for jobs and economic opportunities,” MGM Resorts chairman and chief executive James Murren said in a statement.
MGM Resorts said it would pay the US$85 million licensing fee to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on November 17.
The company controls Macau-based gaming operator MGM China Holdings Ltd.
MGM Resorts immediately began preparatory works on the Springfield site on Wednesday, eyeing a Spring 2015 groundbreaking.
MGM Springfield (pictured in an artist’s rendering), an US$800-million investment, will feature 125,000 square feet (11,613 square metres) of gaming space with 3,000 slot machines, 75 gaming tables, a poker room and a high-limit VIP gambling area. It will also house a 25-story 250-room hotel and about 55,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
Plans also envision a dining, retail and entertainment district with an eight-screen cinema, bowling alley and an outdoor stage, to be developed by MGM Resorts in partnership with a third party.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters