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Proposed Casino Developers Ask Questions in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Springfield’s three casino contenders had a chance today to question city leaders about the casino application process.

The city has already extended the deadline for filing for filing materials under the phase two application process from December 14th to January 3rd.

That gives all three Springfield casino contenders an extra three weeks to gather and submit that information.

However the $400,000 non-refundable fee to the state gaming commission is still due by December 14th,as part if the city’s application rules.

Springfield’s Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy explains why the money is needed sooner than the final details of the application.

“We want them into the gaming commission process so the gaming commission can start doing their financial vetting, in their per-qualification which is necessary to get an operator on the ballot so we can further move along the licensing process,” says Kennedy.

Kennedy also says the city will have to start hiring other consultants in areas like transportation and waste water to “verify the process”, the cost of which he says will be paid by the casinos and not the taxpayers.

While Ameristar Casinos has not yet paid the $400,000 non-refundable fee, Ameristar’s Troy Stremming says it will.

“Obviously that money is much better use for us in our pocket or in our bank account than someone else’s so we will definitely make that payment when it’s required to be made, but there’s really no need to make it prior to the obligated date particularly in light of the fact it’s non-refundable,” says Stremming.

The casino operators still don’t know if their proposals will get on the ballot for voters to decide.

City leaders say they could approve one or more of the proposals for voters approval.

A representative from Penn National Gaming also says it will pay the non-refundable application fee.

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