Despite MGM Resorts’ aggressive pursuit of its plans to build an $800 million casino in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts, mayor Domenic Sarno, is clear on the city’s plans to hold a careful and meticulous selection process to see which of the four competing developers, MGM included, will get to build a casino in the city.
Boston.com reports that the mayor of Springfield held private meetings with representatives from each of the four developers that also include Ameristar Casinos, Hard Rock International, and Penn National Gaming. Sarno also said that the city’s eventual decision will be based on a number of factors, including the respective company’s state of finances and their project concepts. From there, the city will then ask the developers who passed the first screening on how they plan to set in motion their casino projects and how they can tie up with the city to create new employment opportunities for the people as well as provide revenue allocation for the city.
Considering that Sarno has described this casino project as the city’s biggest project ever, a lot is definitely riding on the powers-that-be to create a fair process that would give each of the four developers equal shake to present their proposals before any decisions are made. The hope is that a decision will be made before the end of the year on which of the four developers Springfield will be negotiating with.
When Massachusetts politicians passed a casino bill last November that allowed one casino to be built for in each of the three zones of the states, a lot of casino developers raced to get their names thrown into the hat. The southeastern zone is already reserved to federally recognized Indian tribe. Meanwhile, there’s also growing sentiment that the eastern zone will be given to Caesars Entertainment and Suffolk Downs, leaving only the western zone located in Springfield for the rest of the casino developers to vie for.
With the selection process set to begin in the coming months, expect all four developers to ramp up their efforts to bring the best possible product to the table.