PALMER, Mass. (WGGB) — The Western Massachusetts casino battle heats up after Springfield’s ”Yes” vote on MGM’s $800 million plan.
Springfield casino supporters celebrate a victory at the polls.
West Springfield signs a host-community agreement last week with Hard Rock International.
The other community in the casino sweepstakes is Palmer where casino supporters are anxiously waiting.
“I think it will be great for Palmer. It would open a lot of job opportunities, maybe revenues, some more money for the surrounding areas,” says Maricsa Acuna of Palmer.
Mohegan Sun is proposing a $1 billion casino complex including a water park off the Massachusetts Turnpike exit in Palmer.
Although Mohegan Sun was first to step to the plate in Western Massachusetts for a casino proposal, the host-community agreement with the town remains unsigned.
Town Councilor Paul Burns isn’t overly concerned at this point.
So why is it taking so long?
“I don’t see any stumbling blocks. I think part of the process is that we’ve gotten into a lot more detail than the other two communities,” says Burns.
Burns says he’s hopeful a host-community agreement will be signed in the next two weeks and that Palmer voters will decide the matter in October in a referendum vote.