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West Springfield Mayor Hopes to Sign Casino Agreement Thursday

HArd-Rock_Mass_Final2WEBWEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The mayor of West Springfield is continuing to work on hammering out the final details of the community-host agreement with Hard Rock International.

Originally it was thought that the agreement would be signed Wednesday, but it wasn’t finished in time.

Mayor Gregoy Neffinger told us he hopes they can complete the agreement and sign it on Thursday.

City leaders and the casino company have been trying to negotiate a community-host agreement for some time now.  When Mayor Gregory Neffinger does sign the agreement with Hard Rock the next step will be to set an election date so residents can get their chance to accept or reject the casino proposal.

The Hard Rock proposal is for an $800 million casino complex and the company says they would create more than 3,000 jobs for the area.

According to Town Councilor, Brian Griffin the city stands to get $17 to $20 million a year in tax revenue from the casino as well as more emergency personnel including police and firefighters.

He says the Town Council still plans on meeting tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m.  They’ll be discussing voting to proceed without the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s suitability study which was supposed to be completed by the end of June but was delayed.

Aaccording to the President of the West Springfield Town Council, Kathleen Bourque the goal of the council Thursday is to meet the deadline to set the election for September 10 before the start of the Big E.

 

 

 

 

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  • alpinequeen

    Gambling is bad. Like tobacco and alcohol, it is addictive to many. 1.5 to 2 percent of the general population has a problem with gambling and this means with a casino in downtown Springfield, an additional 1.5 – 2% will become problem gamblers within a 50 mile radius and then an additional 4.5 – 6% within a 10 mile radius. With a population of 110,000, Springfield alone will be home to 5,000 to 6,500 problem gamblers in the city excluding the surrounding communities. Compulsive gamblers can be put in a similar position to drug addicts who will lie, cheat, steal from their jobs and they will betray the trust of family members and friends. The numbers of problem gamblers will increase and their families, spouses, children will suffer. The people in charge have done their homework and they already know this but they’re not telling. The future promise of increased taxes allows them to keep their mouths shut.