According to MassLive’s Peter Goonan, Mayor Domenic Sarno reacted to a court decision favorable MMCT’s proposal for a new tribal casino in Connecticut, by referring to it as a “glorified slots parlor.”
Wow, did he follow that up with a “nah, nah-nah, nah nah… or sticking out his tongue?”
Sarno obviously doesn’t know the differences in casino offerings. If he wants to see what a “slot parlor” IS, he should go east to Plainville, MA where Plainridge Park Casino, the only Massachusetts casino resides and is the only one bringing in revenue.
You see Mr. Sarno, slot joints don’t have table games. But, Mr. Sarno, let’s compare the casino aspect of each future property:
PROPERTY MGM SPRINGFIELD MMCT EAST WINDSOR, CT CASINO
Gaming Space 125,000-square-foot 200,000 square foot
Slot Machines 3,000 slot machines 2,000 slot machines
Table Games 75 gaming tables 50 to 150 gaming tables
Both will have a poker room, high limit areas, hospitality services like restaurants, shops, and entertainment.
So where’s the difference? Well, the CT casino has proposed more square footage and more table games. Hmmm, doesn’t sound like a glorified slot parlor to me.
Now, we know that proposals change, right Mr. Sarno? MGM’s Michael Mathis admitted that things change – hopefully to enhance the final product. CT’s casino may change from its original plan. But don’t hold it against them. Remember the following MGM changes & proposal changes?
- Where is that hotel tower MGM initially promised? Oh yeah, plans were changed.
- And jobs for the residents of Springfield? According to Chris Goudreau from ValleyAdvocate@Play.com, More than half of the unemployed population in Springfield — 2,150 people — could be automatically disqualified from getting a job at the MGM casino, slated to open in late-2018, under the current state gaming laws, according to MGM research performed to help change the Massachusetts gaming law. I understand you are a “man of the people” and are working to help change the employment considerations set up by the state and the MGC. That change has promise for the people of Springfield!
- How about apartments for the area around the casino? MGM may put some of its market-rate apartments in the old Court Square Hotel on Elm Street, across from Springfield City Hall. Now its plans for the old school department building at 195 State Street are unclear. MGM has been considering putting all its apartments at the old Court Square Hotel. In case you don’t know, market rate housing is any apartment that has no rent restrictions. A landlord who owns market rate housing is free to attempt to rent the space at whatever price the local market may fetch, beneficial for landlords, as it is less complicated and they may be able to generate higher rent income as a result. Definitely not affordable housing to help out Springfield’s residents.
So, changes do happen in the planning. They are to be expected – just ask MGM. And it’s true!
So, Mr. Sarno, why are you so worried about CT’s third casino? Do you have so little faith in MGM’s promise to raise the quality of life with this new model of “urban casino?” Concentrate on what matters most – the future of Springfield, MA. The residents, the businesses, the unemployed – they all need your help.
MGM’s plans include lots to be excited about. Fresh ideas entwined with MGM success and Springfield’s blue-collar fabric make for big potential. MGM is not a casino company, it’s a “resort” company – and a very successful one at that. Look at what they are building for Springfield:
The “Amory Square” – Dining, Retail and Entertainment District has so much to offer the residents and visitors of Springfield:
- 165,000 square feet of dining, retail and entertainment space
- 15 shops and restaurants
- Movie cinema – 50,000 sq-ft and 12 screens
- Bowling alley – 20,000 sq-ft
- Outdoor stage for free live music and entertainment
- Location between Union and Howard streets
- Multi-level parking garage with 5,000 parking spaces. (as long as it’s FREE parking?)
And a Hotel that offers:
- 25-story hotel with 250 rooms
- World-class spa
- Pool – 10,000 square fee
- Roof deck – 35,000 square fee
- Outdoor garden
- Meeting and banquet space – 40,000 square feet
- The hotel will use the existing building facade at 73 State Street
This is what MGM does best.
Finally Mr. Sarno, I believe you should follow your own advice concerning MGM Springfield, “…..my focus should and will be on what we can direct and control – continuing to put a first class resort establishment in Springfield.” (Your words, no one else’s!) Stay away from the name calling – it shows a lack of understanding and is beneath those officials in government we, and Springfield, put our trust in.