Casino Information

Massachusetts Residents Vote to Keep State's Casino Law in Defeating Ballot Question 3, Paving the Way for MGM Springfield

11/4/2014 - It was a long and winding road to victory for the pro-casino movement but on Tuesday as election results became clear, Massachusetts residents learned the Expanded Gaming Act, as passed by the state legislature in 2011, would indeed stand.

The Repeal the Casino Deal movement and Ballot Question 3 was defeated in a statewide vote which divided the population not along party lines, but along beliefs about whether the benefits of having a casino gaming facility would outweigh the potential negatives. Read More

Casino Repeal Vote by Town - Click to Enlarge
Casino Repeal Vote by Town (Springfield Metro Area) - Click to Enlarge

MGM wins Springfield Casino Vote

7/16/2013 - Voters on Tuesday approved the host community agreement between the city and MGM Resorts International, a major victory for the company as it pursues a state gaming license for its proposed $800 million resort casino complex to be built in the South End.

The MGM agreement was approved by a vote of 58 to 42 percent, and will now be forwarded for consideration by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Under state law, the commission will consider granting up to three resort casino licenses in the state, including one in Western Massachusetts. Read More

Blue Tarp Redevelopment (MGM) Suitability Decision

Phase I Suitability Decision - 12/23/2013

MGM wins Springfield Casino Vote

7/16/2013 - Voters on Tuesday approved the host community agreement between the city and MGM Resorts International, a major victory for the company as it pursues a state gaming license for its proposed $800 million resort casino complex to be built in the South End.

The MGM agreement was approved by a vote of 58 to 42 percent, and will now be forwarded for consideration by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Under state law, the commission will consider granting up to three resort casino licenses in the state, including one in Western Massachusetts. Read More

MGM Host Community Agreement

Mass Gaming Commission Regulations Update

Existing Regulations Update

Master Draft of New Regulations

updated 3/29/2013  3:00PM



Supplemental Public Presentation - March 11th, 2:30pm - 4:30pm at CityStage

Live Streaming Video Page (video archive link coming soon)

Memo to the Mayor

Notice of Scheduling Public Presentations

updated 3/11/2013 9:00AM



Proposal Comparison Matrix

March 2013 Updated Proposal Comparison Matrix

updated 3/1/2013 12:00PM



Evaluation of and Recommendation Concerning Phase II

View the Recommendation Here

updated 2/12/2013 9:00AM



Notice of Phase II Close-Out

Close-Out Notice Of Phase II

updated 2/12/2013 8:00AM



Casino Proposal Page Update

MGM Traffic Study Added to Casino Proposal Page



RFQ Phase II - Amendment #4

Download Phase II Amendment #4 Here



Previous Updates

RFQ Phase II Update - Amendment #3

Click here to download the amendment

Public Casino Presentation
Tuesday December 11th, 5:00pm - 9:00pm at CityStage

Casino Event Video Page (Archived Video)


Springfield Casino Proposers' Public Presentation Flyer

How to Ask a Question at the Presentation

UPDATE: Protocol for Public Presentations

Click here to download the updated protocol

(revised 12/5/2012 5:00PM)

Previous Protocol for Public Presentations

Click here to download the previous protocol


Casino Hearing Minutes - November 14, 2012

Click here to download the minutes


RFQ Phase II Update - Amendment #2

Click here to download the amendment


Click here to download Exhibit A


(current as of 11/14/2012 at 9:30AM)

RFQ Phase II Update - Amendment #1

Click here to download the amendment

(current as of 11/9/2012 at 1:00PM)

Notice of Protocol For Proposers' Informational Meeting

Click here to download the protocol

(current as of 11/7/2012 at 4:30PM)

Downloadable Documents

Click here to download the Phase II RFQ/RFP

(current as of 11/1/2012 at 2:30PM)


In the News

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno Names New Casino Advisory Committee

Springfield Casino Selection Advisory Committee members from left to right, Kevin Kennedy, Kathleen Kane, Nancy-Dusek-Gomez and Jill McCarthy-Payne. They were introduced at a press conference Thursday afternoon at City Hall. Two other members were not present.

November, 2012 - SPRINGFIELD - Mayor Domenic J. Sarno on Thursday named a new, six-member advisory committee that will serve to screen the three companies that are competing to build a casino in Springfield.

The newly formed ad hoc Phase II Casino Review Committee will assist Sarno in deciding which company or companies he should choose to negotiate a host community agreement for a future casino project. Any negotiated agreement will need approval from the City Council, local voters, and the state Gaming Commission.

"We look forward to a robust competition that will determine the company or companies with whom we will enter into a host community agreement," Sarno said in a prepared release. "Our goal is to select the most viable site(s) and to have the strongest deal(s) for the residents and business community of the City of Springfield and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."

Under state law, the Gaming Commission is empowered to grant up to three casino licenses in Massachusetts, including one designated for Western Massachusetts.

The new advisory committee consists of the following members:

* Judge Nancy Dusek-Gomez, who retired from the Massachusetts Trial Court in 2011 after 25 years as a judge of the Springfield District Court.

* Kathleen Kane, managing director with The Springfield Group of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in Springfield.

* Haskell O. Kennedy Jr., who retired in 2009 after working for the State of Connecticut Department of Labor for 20 years, serving most recently as the director of the Office of Diversity and Equity Programs.

* Kevin E. Kennedy, who serves as Springfield's chief development officer and was previously chief economic development assistant to U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield.

* Jill McCarthy-Payne, a lawyer and professor of criminal justice at American International College.

* Joanne Morales-Harrison, a community re-entry unit manager with the Hampden County Sheriff's Department, and a prior member of the Springfield Police Commission.

The three companies competing for the casino license in Springfield are:

* Ameristar Casinos, proposing a project at the former Westinghouse Electric property in East Springfield;

* MGM Resorts International, proposing a project in the South End; and

* Penn National Gaming, planning a project in the North End of the downtown corridor.

In addition, the owner of Mohegan Sun in Connecticut is proposing a casino in Palmer off the Massachusetts Turnpike, which needs town approval, and would compete with any Springfield projects for the sole casino license in Western Massachusetts.

The new ad hoc committee will serve to provide "non-binding advice, input and counsel" to the mayor.

Sarno previously appointed a five-member committee that served to pre-qualify the three competing companies in Springfield, known as Phase 1 of the screening process. All three companies submitted their qualifications and conceptual plans, and were deemed qualified recently to enter into the second phase by the screening committee. Kennedy is the only member of the new advisory committee who also served on the initial screening committee.

On Thursday, the city formally launched a Phase II Request for Proposals, in which the three casino companies will submit extensive plans for their destination casinos and detail the economic impacts their projects will have on the local, regional and state economy.

The three casino developers in Springfield will present their proposals and answer questions during future meetings scheduled by the city's hired casino consultant, Shefsky & Froelich of Chicago. The new advisory committee will be expected to attend those meetings and review all materials, consultant summaries and evaluations, and studies pertaining to the Request for Proposals process, officials said.

The committee would then advise the mayor on the pros and cons of each proposal, officials said.

Following the announcement at City Hall, the Rev. Talbert W. Swan II, president of the Springfield branch of the NAACP, urged Sarno to expand the advisory group "to include recommendations from organizations that represent communities of color, the City Council and neighborhood councils."

"I further request that the NAACP, Puerto Rican Cultural Center and City Councilor Zaida Luna be included on the panel," Swan said in an email to Sarno. "Councilor Luna represents two neighborhoods of the three proposed projects."

Sarno said the committee members he chose were diverse, and have proven records as being individuals of "high integrity and professionalism."

Council President James J. Ferrera III had no objections to Sarno's selections saying the mayor "can appoint whoever he wants to his advisory board." The council has its own role and has its own advisory committee chaired by former Police Chief Paula Meara and contains members of the council, he said.

Councilor Bud L. Williams said he is disappointed that Sarno did not select either Ferrera or a councilor designated by Ferrera to serve on the new advisory committee.

Sarno and Kevin E. Kennedy, the city's chief development officer, said the process will remain very open and transparent, and the council will be kept informed regularly.

Four of the six advisory committee members are residents of Springfield. One member, retired Judge Nancy Dusek-Gomez is a resident of East Longmeadow and Kathleen Kane is a resident of West Brookfield. Kane was nominated by the Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

Sarno will rely on the details of the submitted proposals and on advice from the advisory committee, his top economic development advisers and a hired consultant in order to negotiate a host community agreement with one or more of the competing companies.

Dusek-Gomez said she is "very well equipped to review the proposals and give advice to the mayor."

"For 25 years, I was a professional fact-finder," Dusek-Gomez said. "I heard cogent arguments supportive of different positions and made decisions as to the best outcome for the litigants and many times the larger community."

The casino is a very important issue in terms of jobs and economic development, Dusek Gomez said, adding: "I see it as a rebirth of the city." 

Reprinted Courtesy of the Springfield Republican

Casino Selection Process Plan Unveiled

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno says the city is in the "enviable position of having outstanding, multiple casino companies interested in locating within the city".

August 27, 2012 - SPRINGFIELD -  Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and his advisers estimated it would take eight months to select and negotiate an agreement for the best possible casino in Springfield, followed by a binding ballot vote planned in the spring of one or more selected sites.

A planned two-phase selection process was revealed Monday during a press conference at City Hall. The announcement immediately followed individual, closed-door meetings between Sarno, his top advisers, and the four known national companies competing for the Springfield casino project.

Sarno said he'd like to have construction begin in 2014, if the local casino is approved by voters and the state, and did not rule out letting voters consider more than one site.

City officials said that based on information provided thus far, each casino operator is proposing a project with a total investment of $800 million to $900 million or more. Such projects are far larger than the $500 million minimum investment called for in state law.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will license up to three casinos in Massachusetts, including one designated for Western Massachusetts.

"It is with great excitement that we kick-off the casino selection process", Sarno said. "This much anticipated economic development project will be the largest in the city's history and means thousands of good paying jobs for our residents, significant opportunities for our business community and sustainable economic benefits for our great city."

The city is in the "enviable position of having outstanding, multiple casino companies interested in locating within the city," Sarno said.

Sarno met Monday with representatives of the following companies: MGM Resorts, proposing a three-block casino complex in the South End, bordered by State and Union streets on the west side of Main Street; Penn National, proposing a casino in the North End at a site that would include The Republican's newspaper building, Peter Pan Bus Lines headquarters and nearby properties; Ameristar, planning a casino at the former 41-acre Westinghouse property in East Springfield; and Hard Rock International, proposing a casino at a downtown location that has not yet been publicly revealed.

The first phase of the competitive selection process will begin Sept. 5, with a formal request for proposals, and will serve to pre-qualify companies based on "the overall financial stability of the proposers, their experience and general project concept," according to a prepared summary.

The second phase will be far more in depth, requiring much more specific information regarding each company, their proposed projects, and the expected economic benefits to the city, region and state, officials said.

Additional developers could emerge during the first phase, city officials said.

Sarno said that following the two-phase selection process, expected to conclude by mid-December, he would negotiate and execute "home community agreements" with one or more casino companies. Any agreement would then need approval from the City Council and would be forwarded for a vote by residents at a special election anticipated in the spring.

Sarno said he has instructed city departments and the city's consultants to conduct "an open, fair and robust competitive process that will allow us to choose the project or projects that are best to meet the city's selection criteria." There will also be updates provided regularly on the city's website.

Hard Rock was the only company not to specify the site for its casino, except to say it would be in the downtown, city officials said, regarding the closed meeting. Hard Rock representatives also chose not to meet with the media waiting outside Sarno's office, leaving by a different exit.

Anthony Cignoli, a local partner, in Hard Rock, said in a telephone interview Monday night that the company is not yet ready to release specifics.

Cezar M. Froelich, chairman of Shefsky & Froelich of Chicago, the city's hired casino consultant, said the roughly eight-month process to select a casino or casinos is designed to "get everybody's input and buy-in" including the City Council, tourism and business officials, residents and others.

The process is similar to the process in many other communities and states that have dealt with casino agreements including Michigan and Louisiana, Froelich said. The process also follows the state law, permitting casinos in Massachusetts, he said.

Kevin E. Kennedy, the city's chief development officer, said the process is just beginning, and asked that people not jump to any conclusions. While the mayor and some top advisors feel a single proposal is probably best to forward for voters to consider.

It is not yet finalized how the city would create guidelines for a ballot if it contained more than one proposa, officials said.

Casinos have been proposed elsewhere in Western Massachusetts, including a proposal by Mohegan Sun to locate a casino in Palmer off the Massachusetts Turnpike.

James J. Murren, chairman and chief executive officer of MGM Resorts, said his first meeting with Sarno and his top advisors to tout his company's vision and enthusiasm for locating a casino in the South End, and its intent on benefiting other downtown venues such as the MassMutual Center, Symphony Hall, local restaurants and hotels.

The MGM proposal offers "tremendous urban renewal" in the South End area in the aftermath of significant damage from the tornado of June 1, 2011, Murren said.

Penn National representative Eric Schippers, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations, said the company's proposal in the North End will have "significant ripple effects and a positive impact," in the city.

"It (the casino) is not an island unto itself. It is how to best benefit the city," Schippers said.

Ameristar's proposal is the only one that is not Downtown so all its competitors are highlighting their ability to bring business to the beleaguered city center.

He described their proposed casino as "first and foremost, the most transformative benefit touching other areas of the community."

The company also has a strong financial ability to build a casino, Schippers said.

Both Murren and Schippers said their respective companies have the financial wherewithal to immediately fund construction.

Troy A. Stremming , a senior vice president for Ameristar, countered Monday by saying his project is the only one with a physical footprint and proposed gambling floor large enough to properly serve the market and generate enough jobs and revenue . He said Ameristar , with it's $50 million plan to build access ramps from Interstate 291, is the only bidder to address traffic concerns in a detailed way.

Reprinted courtesy of the Springfield Republican

Massachusetts Casino Project in the News:

11/5/2013 - Boston Globe
Mass. Measure to Repeal Casino Bill Fails

11/4/2014 - Springfield Republican
Massachusetts Voters Honor the Will of Springfield Residents by Affirming Casino Law

12/24/2013 - Boston Globe
Revere Would Receive $33m Down Payment, $25m to $30m a Year, Under Mohegan Sun Proposal

12/24/2013 - Springfield Republican
Springfield Officials Pleased with Massachusetts Gaming Commission's Positive Suitability Decision

12/24/2013 - Springfield Republican
MGM Approved for Springfield Casino Bid by Massachusetts Gaming Commission

12/20/2013 - Springfield Republican
MGM suitability decision to be Released as Early as Friday

12/19/2013 - Springfield Republican
Massachusetts Gaming Regulators Clear Way for Revere to Vote on Mohegan Sun Casino

12/19/2013 - Boston Globe
Gambling Commission Allows Revere to Hold Another Casino Referendum

12/11/2013 - Springfield Republican
Editorial: Betting on Early Education in Springfield a Wise Move

12/10/2013 - Springfield Republican
Springfield Officials Say They'll Use Casino Revenues, Other Funding to Increase Access to Early Education Programs

12/10/2013 - Boston Globe
Gaming Commission Staff Finds MGM Resorts 'Suitable' to Build Springfield Casino and Resort

12/10/2013 - Springfield Republican
Read the Massachusetts Gaming Commission's investigative report on MGM Resorts International

6/4/2013 - Worcester Telegram
No Slots for Worcester After Talks Fail

4/30/2013 - The Republican
Springfield Announces Casino Agreement With MGM

4/18/2013 - Cape Cod Times
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Loses Exclusive Casino Rights

4/16/2013 - The Boston Globe
Wampanoag Turn up Pressure on Gambling Panel

4/15/2013 - Boston Herald
Casino Panel Weighs Opening SE Mass. License

4/14/2013 - Worcester Telegram
Casino Developers Tout Job Creation

4/13/2013 - Worcester Telegram
Worcester Council Want More Time to Collect Information on Gambling

4/12/2013 - Boston Herald
Everett Wants Community Vote on Wynn Casino Plan in June

3/22/2013 - The Republican
Massachusetts Gaming Commission Airs Possible Commercial Casino License for Southeast Region

3/14/2013 - The Boston Globe
Plainville Inches Closer to Slot Machine Agreement

3/14/2013 - The Republican
Palmer Officals, Disappointed with Mohegan Sun Public Forum, Say Casino Company Offered Little New Information About Proposed Hotel-Casino

3/14/2013 - Worcester Telegram
Gaming Firm Eyes Worcester's Green Island

3/12/2013 - The Republican
Penn National, MGM Resorts Tout Springfield Casino Projects and Their Differences

3/11/2013 - The Republican
MGM Resorts, Penn National Say Casino Plans Will Boost Entertainment, Create Traffic That Can be Managed in Springfield

3/4/2013 - The Republican
Mohegan Sun Officials Say They Will Provide More Details about Palmer Casino Project Prior to Town Referendum

3/3/2013 - Boston Globe
Mass. Studying Pros, Cons of City vs. Rural Casinos

2/19/2013 - Boston Globe
Pro-Gambling Governor Could Bring Expanded Gambling to New Hampshire

2/13/2013 - Cape Cod Times
Ruling Backs Mashpee Tribe's Land Claims

2/13/2013 - The Republican
Mohegan Sun Casino Proposal in Palmer to be Subject of Public Forum

2/7/2013 - Boston Herald
Casino Czar 
to Wynn: Let's Talk

2/12/2013 - Springfield Republican
Mayor Domenic Sarno Decides to Negotiate with Both MGM Resorts and Penn National

2/12/2013 - Boston Globe
Foxwoods Joins Chase for Casino License in Mass

2/12/2013 - Springfield Republican
West Springfield Casino Project Developer Pledges to Meet with Town Council as Often as it Wants

2/10/2013 - Boston Globe Editorial
MGM Plan Offers More Hope for Springfield's Renewal

Page last updated:  Wednesday, November 5, 2014 11:35 am