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MGM,Penn National Pitch Casino Plans At Springfield Forum

  Top executives from two high powered casino companies pitched their plans for Springfield Massachusetts Tuesday night at a forum attended by several hundred people.  WAMC”s Paul Tuthill reports

   Both MGM and Penn National vowed to do much more than drop a casino in a box in downtown Springfield.  Penn president Timothy Wilmott said their proposal includes urban renewal from North Main Street to the riverfront.

   MGM’s CEO Jim Murran said his company’s project would be an entertainment mecca drawing tourists to Springfield’s other attractions.

   The companies pledged to hire a largely local , and diverse workforce.

   Both companies pledged  to take the high road in their high stakes competition to win the lone casino license in western Massachusetts.. Residents questioned the projects impacts on traffic and crime.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.