Casino companies upping the ante in Western MA - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Casino companies upping the ante in Western MA

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

The state gaming commission is expected to issue a Western Mass casino license next April.

It may seem like a far way off, but Hard Rock, MGM and Mohegan Sun are all stepping up their game in preparation.

"Our plan is going to approach $40 million in true infrastructure improvements which is the largest financial contribution to this particular part of the state and any project ever," said Chairman and CEO of Hard Rock Jim Allen.

Hard Rock met with residents once again Tuesday night in West Springfield.

Hard Rock officials say their plan calls for a mix of non-gaming and gaming amenities that will include a 250- to 300-room, 12-story hotel, and approximately 100,000-square-foot casino, as well as a Hard Rock Cafe.

The casino company, like MGM and Mohegan Sun, is making a push to continue talks with residents.

Monday night, Mohegan Sun reps laid out their plans for a $1 billion resort casino.

MGM in Springfield is just two weeks away from a city-wide vote on their casino.

With all three casino companies upping the ante ahead of the city votes, casino supporters at Monday night's meeting say they're not worried about Hard Rock's chances.

"Our thoughts are that Hard Rock seems to want to give back to the community more than the other casinos in Springfield and Palmer," said Brad Robinson, of West Springfield.

"Hard Rock wants to bring family entertainment," said lifelong West Springfield resident Suzanne Farrell.

Others still have their questions.

"I'm more concerned about the roads. Hopefully they can pay their taxes and we can put it back into the roads because all of the pot holes are terrible," said Jon Bigos of West Springfield.

Hard Rock and Mohegan Sun are both anticipating town-wide votes in the fall.

Voters in Springfield will head to the polls on July 16 to vote on MGM's plan.

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