SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — City voters have been hitting the voting booths all day Tuesday to weigh in on MGM’s casino plan.
With some sharp opinions on both sides, it all comes down to today’s highly anticipated vote.
When the polls opened at 7 a.m., Springfield voters began letting the city know what they think about the prospect of an $800 million resort casino in the city’s South End.
“It will bring dollars to the city, so they can fix things that are broken that need to be fixed, because without their revenue, we are going to stay as we are,” says Paula Girard of Springfield.
“The casino is not a good idea in Springfield. Right now, the criminal rate is high and there’s not many jobs, so when the casino comes, there is going to be a lot of promises. There’s going to be jobs, but actually, there is going to more crime,” adds Gilberto Roland.
MGM has been lobbying hard to persuade Springfield residents that the project will revitalize the city and bring much needed jobs to the community.
If voters say ‘yes’ today, the project goes to the State Gaming Commission. Up for grabs – the sole casino license in western Mass.
James Duggan of Springfield notes, “It will bring in jobs and more police and some people say promises. Hey, a promise is a promise.”
Girard adds, “It’s going to bring jobs, construction and otherwise, and there’s nothing bad that can come out of it. I can’t see anything bad coming out of it. If you’re a gambler, you’re always a gambler.”
But many don’t want to gamble with Springfield’s future.
“Springfield is a history place. Once the casino comes in, all that history goes away, so what are we going to show the kids,” Roland says.
Polls remain open until 8:00 p.m.
ABC40 will have complete coverage all day, on-air and online, including results as they come in after the polls close.
Not sure where to vote? CLICK HERE for a list of polling locations.