Springfield Casino Yes and No Factions Active

Anti-casino rally in Springfield Photo: WHMP/Mary Serreze

Springfield Casino Yes and No Factions Active

A large diverse crowd from the Springfield area gathered in Court Square Tuesday to hear nearly a dozen religious leaders speak their minds about a proposed downtown casino. The event was sponsored by the Council of Churches of Western Mass.  The activist group Citizens Against Casino Gambling had a strong presence at the event and were handing out literature. They said a casino will bring more traffic, crime, drunk drivers, prostitution, drugs and decreased home values.  State Rep Cheryl Coakley-Rivera says the casino presents an opportunity but she’s disappointed MGM has not done much to reach out to the community when it comes to providing jobs. She said credit and CORI check requirements could place even the simplest jobs at an MGM downtown casino out of the reach of many Springfield residents. MGM President Bill Hornbuckle has said the casino is committed to bringing Main Street to life with restaurants shops and entertainment. Mayor Domenic Sarno touts a host community agreement worth 25-million a year and says the casino will be good for the city. The special election on the MGM south end casino proposal will be held July 16th.  MGM has plowed a million dollars into a “Yes” campaign.


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