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Springfield voters to have say on MGM casino deal

July 16, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Springfield voters now have their say on a plan by MGM Resorts International to build an $800 million casino in the western Massachusetts city.

A vote is scheduled for Tuesday on the host community agreement reached by MGM and city officials. The agreement calls for the company to make more than $25 million in annual payments to the city if the casino is built.

Voters must approve it before MGM can apply to the state gambling commission for the single casino license that will be granted in western Massachusetts. Two other casino proposals have been made in the region.

Casino backers say the project would bring jobs and economic development to an area of Springfield damaged by a tornado two years ago.

But opponents say casinos prey on low-income and elderly people and gambling addicts.

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