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Gaming Comm. Chair: ‘Pretty Likely’ MGM Springfield Will Get License

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Mass. Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby says it is “pretty likely” that MGM Springfield will be granted a gaming license later this year.

In an interview Tuesday with ABC40’s Dave Madsen, Crosby discussed the chances of MGM Springfield getting that sole gaming license for Western Massachusetts.

“I’m only one commissioner, but I think it’s pretty likely that they would get the award. The question is what kinds of conditions do we put on the license. Everything we know is they’ve done a pretty quality job. As you know, there’d been a tremendous amount of competition. They’ve had to compete all along the way. They thought they were going to be competing with Mohegan Sun, so they’ve done a lot to meet our evaluation criteria, but we will still run them through the ringer and check them against our evaluation criteria. If we don’t think they have a good enough something – in relationships with the tourism industry, to diversity, or whatever – we will push them, but I think it’s reasonable to assume they’re looking pretty good for the license,” Crosby explains.

Commissioner Crosby also discussed the process going forward for communities and venues that believe they will be impacted by a Springfield casino, but have yet reached an agreement with MGM Springfield.

Crosby also talked about the “rigorous” background check process and the “extraordinary” law the Mass. Legislature created.

“I didn’t have any way of knowing what a good law the Legislature had produced, to tell you the truth. In terms of what we were just talking about – local control, the commitment to community mitigation, the commitment to problem gambling, the commitment to research, which we will be talking about a lot as this rolls on, the commitment to diverse workforce and diverse supplier base, the whole participatory process, with some many opportunities for the public to be involved – I had no way of knowing, I didn’t really know what was in the law and I certainly had no way of knowing how it compared to other states. If you are going to have casino gambling, and some people don’t want it, but if we’re going to have it, we have the best law to keep the good news as good as possible and the bad news to a bare minimum.”

MGM will make a final public presentation on the project Thursday morning at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. ABC40’s Ray Hershel will be there and have reports from Boston.

Crosby estimates that gaming licenses will be awarded “mid to late May.”

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