MGM poised to become state's 1st casino operator

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News,Business

BOSTON (AP) — MGM Resorts International is nearing a final ruling on its bid to become Massachusetts' first licensed casino operator, with a proposed $800 million project in Springfield.

Starting Tuesday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will hold a series of meetings in Springfield and Boston reviewing the project's finances, economic development potential, building and site design and local impacts. That will lead up to an expected vote Friday at Springfield's MassMutual Center.

One open question is whether the commission will take up MGM's request to delay formal "awarding" of the license as it hopes to hold off payment of some $200 million in fees and costs that effectively come due with the award.

MGM proposes a casino, hotel, shopping and entertainment complex on 14 1/2 acres straddling downtown and the South End neighborhood.

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