MGM Resorts hoping to get Massachusetts license after voters rejected two other companies.
The city of Holyoke signed a “surrounding community” agreement with MGM Resorts International, calling for a $50,000 upfront payment, a $1.28 million investment over the next 15 years and jobs opportunities for local residents.
The company agreed to honor these promises if it gets licensed to open a new casino in Massachusetts. Under American gambling laws, the state can issue up to three casino licenses. After residents from Palmer and West Springfield voted against proposals made by other companies, MGM’s Springfield project is the only left up for debate.
Partners for economic growth
According to local gambling news, Holyoke is the only non-abutting municipality with surrounding community status, which allows it to benefit from the casino’s revenues. Mayor Alex Morse stated: “Although the casino is not coming to the city of Holyoke, there is no doubt that we will be affected by one in our backyard.”
“I am pleased with the results of these negotiations, as they will benefit and protect the interests of Holyoke’s residents, business owners, and the local economy. This agreement would not have been possible without the hard work of City Solicitor Heather Egan,” he added.
According to MGM representative Michael Mathis, the company had long thought of Holyoke as a potential regional partner. “After several meetings with Mayor Morse and his team it became clear that the designation along with a strong and fair jobs agreement was the right course of action for MGM Springfield and for Western Massachusetts,” he affirmed.