(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) (WGGB)–On Wednesday MGM Resorts International announced the endorsement s of the Springfield Police and Fire unions in its attempt to win a casino license in the city.
The unions say MGM’s commitment to public safety is second to none,” MGM came into town and some of the first people they reached out to was the fire union,” says David Wells, President of the Springfield Firefighters Union.
Joseph Gentile, President of the Springfield Police Patrolman’s Union cited MGM’s interest in public safety,”For us in any type of project like this public safety has to be a major component, what impressed us is how important it was to them also,” says Gentile.
Both MGM and Penn National Gaming are reaching out to the community here in Springfield, in this latest example, MGM wins the endorsement of two unions, but will that endorsement help in getting a license in the city? Julie Walsh, Associate Professor of Political Science at American International College feels it could,”I think such endorsements do help in this case a bit , more so than they would in an ordinary election,” says Walsh.
Professor Walsh says the casino companies are playing both an inside and outside game,”They have to persuade the voters to endorse them but they also are looking to persuade the city in terms of its selection and the political players and in that instance endorsements might be meaningful,” says Walsh.
So will Penn National up the ante and seek endorsements of their own. Penn National CEO Tim Wilmott says yes,”We understand the advantages and importance of local partnerships and endorsements, we have a lot more to come,” says Wilmott.
So the casino competition in Springfield is getting more intense by the day.