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New Referendum Sought On MGM Springfield Casino

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA

The president of the Springfield, Massachusetts City Council isn’t giving up on getting a popular vote on MGM’s controversial casino redesign.

City Council President Mike Fenton said he’ll appeal to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to order a binding voter referendum on the proposed new design for the Springfield casino.

Fenton said MGM’s plan to eliminate a 25-story hotel from the project substantially changes the host community agreement Springfield voters approved two years ago.

" I do believe the current proposed amendment that calls for the elimination of the tower and no extra benefits to the city of Springfield would absolutely warrant a binding referendum," Fenton said.

Fenton withdrew a proposal for a non-binding referendum because it was filed too close to the deadline to get it on the November ballot.

MGM needs the city council and gaming commission to approve the new design for the casino project.  

The Springfield city solicitor said voter approval is not required.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.