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Both Sides on Casino Issue Look to State Supreme Court Ruling

MGM-Hotel-Tower(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) (WGGB)–While the Massachusetts Gaming Commission names MGM Springfield the winner of the Western Massachusetts casino license, the license can’t be officially awarded until a later date.

That’s because the state supreme court has to decide on whether a statewide referendum vote will be held on repealing the state’s gaming law.

MGM’s President and CEO Jim Murren is confident that there will be a casino built in Springfield,”I think the odds are very high and not only would I bet on it I have,” says Murren.

But casino opponents like Alan Cabot are fighting to place the gaming issue on a statewide ballot.

They have taken their case all the way to the state supreme court which has yet to rule,”We believe the commission acted in their role as an advocate for the gambling industry we believe the people think otherwise that the people across Massachusetts want an opportunity to vote and personally while raising signatures of people they are looking for a fair, statewide vote,” says Cabot.

Meanwhile MGM waits to put shovels in the ground as soon as they possible can,”We believe whether it’s the supreme court which we hope will reject the petition or if we have to go out to the voters that we’ll get a majority of support, there is support for this type of economic development, says Mike Mathis, MGM Springfield President.

And city leaders say jobs and tax revenue hang in the balance,”This is a big deal and remember it’s a very big part of the economic rebirth of Springfield, we do have to come back from a tornado and I think we’ve got a good future in front of us,” says Kevin Kennedy, Springfield’s Chief Development Officer.

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