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July 20, 2018

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New MGM casinos in Northeast would be only 90 minutes apart


MGM Resorts International / AP

This image provided by MGM Resorts International shows an architectural rendering of a casino proposed for Bridgeport, Conn., announced on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, by MGM Resorts International and The RCI Group.

Whether or not MGM succeeds in opening a casino in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says the Bay State will hold the company and Wynn Resorts to commitments both operators have made here.

MGM has proposed a $600 million waterfront casino for Bridgeport, with 2,000 slot machines, 160 table games and a 300-room hotel. The company needs legislative approval from Connecticut before it can proceed with plans.

The Bridgeport casino would be about 90 minutes away from Springfield, where MGM is building a $950 million casino, slated to open in late 2018.

Wynn is opening in June 2019 a $2.4 billion casino in Everett, near Boston.

Both companies have economic and workforce development commitments that come with the casino licenses handed out by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

"I think our hope and our expectation is that all of the commitments that were made by the casino operators here in the Commonwealth are going to be delivered on, and I know that's what certainly the mayors in those two communities expect as well, and we're going to hold them to those commitments," Baker said Wednesday.

Baker pointed to Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy tamping down expectations that MGM would be successful in its quest for legislative approval. Malloy noted that Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods have a revenue-sharing agreement with the state that would be endangered if MGM's proposal is approved.

"But my view on this is MGM has met the deadlines people have set for them, some of the issues with respect to their construction schedule were due to things that were outside their control," Baker continued, referring to the Springfield casino project.

Baker said he frequently speaks with Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. "He still feels quite positive about the project and so do we," Baker said.

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