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West Springfield Rejects Hard Rock Casino


Entertainment industry giant Hard Rock’s plans to build a resort casino in western Massachusetts have been rejected by voters in the small town of West Springfield.

   By a lopsided margin of 55 to 45 percent voters Tuesday defeated Hard Rock’s proposal for an $800 million resort casino on the Big E fairgrounds.  Ted Hebert, a member of a grassroots organization that worked to defeat the casino was thrilled.

   Tim Maland, Hard Rock New England President said the company had no plans to try to put a casino somewhere else in Massachusetts

   The outcome leaves MGM in Springfield and Mohegan Sun in Palmer to compete for the lone casino license authorized for western Massachusetts. Springfield voters have endorsed MGM’s plan. The Palmer vote is November 5th.

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.