Casino opponents still fighting against Springfield casino - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Casino opponents still fighting against Springfield casino

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Casino opponents met in Springfield on Wednesday night, still hoping to fight against the possibility of a casino coming to the city.

"Here in Springfield I guess people think it's kind of over with," said Minister Glenn Turpin, of Just Us for Justice. 

Since MGM's casino plans were approved by 58 percent of Springfield voters back in July, anti-casino advocates have wondered where to go next.

"This is still a topic that everyone in the community needs to be informed about," Turpin said. 

Just Us for Social Justice hosted a casino forum on Wednesday, inviting Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Bruce Stebbins.

"We should keep fighting until the final step from the Mass Gaming Commission," said Rhonda Latney of Springfield. 

"I'm here to hear their questions and hopefully bring them up to speed on the process in the state," said Stebbins. 

Everyone at the meeting has their questions from traffic worries to concerns about money.

"What happens when MGM does not reach their described amount of money they're supposed to. Will they still be obligated to pay the city the money that's outlined in the host-community agreement," Latney said. 

MGM has already signed an agreement with Springfield promising $25 million a year in payments to the city. That's money they'll have to pay if they're awarded the license.

So far, MGM's plans are the only ones that are slated to be sent to the state gaming commission.

Hard Rock's West Springfield plans were shot down by voters. Meantime, Palmer voters won't head to the polls to vote on Mohegan Sun until November.

But Stebbins assured people Wednesday that they'll investigate finances, jobs, site design, community mitigation and the wow factor before awarding any licenses.

"We're going to evaluate all five of those criteria when we ultimately award a license, if we do," Stebbins said. 

Just Us for Social Justice has also sent a letter to the state ethics commission in regards to advertising that was circulating before the vote. They're awaiting a reply. 

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