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‘Big E’ Officials Exploring Idea of Possible Casino

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Leaders at the area’s largest fairgrounds are discussing whether they may look to bring a casino to their site.

Eugene Cassidy, President and CEO of Eastern States Exposition, says Thursday that his group is “continuously engaged in the discovery of economic opportunities that will enhance the entertainment options [ESE] offer to the public” on their 175 acre facility.

“Consequently, we have in recent weeks embarked on an investigation as to whether-or-not it would be feasible for the Eastern States Exposition, as a nonprofit organization, to pursue the concept of citing a regional resort entertainment destination casino on our grounds, that would benefit the entire Western Massachusetts region,” Cassidy adds in a statement.

Cassidy wouldn’t elaborate on the status of their talks, but adds, “We are enthusiastically exploring all of our options, and may have a major announcement in the near future.”

One casino company still looking to find a Massachusetts site is Hard Rock International.

The company had initially partnered with Paper City Development for a possible casino at Wyckoff Country Club in Holyoke. That plan fell through after then-newly elected Mayor Alex Morse indicated he would not support a casino in his city.

Hard Rock was then discussed as a possible applicant in the Springfield application process. After some consideration, Hard Rock opted not to submit an application to the city.

When asked by ABC40 if Hard Rock was considering a possible West Springfield project, they replied with this statement:

“Hard Rock International remains highly interested in new casino development opportunities in Massachusetts and has evaluated a number of prospective locations. If Hard Rock proceeds with development, further detail will be provided at that time, and we would expect to meet all deadlines and requirements of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.”

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WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
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