SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The plan by MGM Resorts International to build an $800 million casino in Springfield is about to be put to the test with city voters.
A referendum is scheduled for Tuesday on a host community agreement reached between MGM and city officials. The deal calls for the company to make more than $25 million in annual payments to Springfield if the casino is built.
Voter approval is required before MGM can apply to the state gaming commission for the single casino license available in western Massachusetts. There are currently two other casino proposals in the region.
Casino backers in the region say the project would bring jobs and economic development to an area of the city that was damaged by a 2011 tornado.
Opponents say casinos prey on low-income and elderly people and gambling addicts.