One of the three casino developers competing in Springfield, Massachusetts, Ameristar, announced in December that it is dropping out. That leaves two, Penn National Gaming and MGM Resort Casinos. Springfield is part of the Western Massachusetts zone. Only one license will be issued for the zone.
Both Penn and MGM quickly issued statements saying that they plan to go forward with their proposals.
Thirty-eight days after it unveiled its proposal, the Las Vegas- based Ameristar dropped the bid for its $910 million, 3,300-slot machine casino, saying in a statement that it did not believe it would be awarded the license and that it did not want to spent the money associated with both the local selection process and going forward with the project’s proposal. Ameristar had purchased 40 acres of former industrial land formerly owned by Westinghouse in Springfield almost a year ago for $16 million.
“This was a difficult decision that will unfortunately result in us not being able to bring a world-class casino entertainment facility to western Massachusetts,” said the company’s CEO Gordon Kanofsky.
The final arbiter for which casino proposal in the Western Massachusetts zone actually gets a license is the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Others competing for that license include the development arm of the Mohegan Sun, which proposes a casino resort in Palmer and possible casino proposals in Holyoke.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby said that he is pleased that casino mogul Steve Wynn is showing interest in building a casino in Everett because competition is good.
Before Wynn tossed his hat into the ring, only one other developer had shown interest in the Eastern casino zone, Suffolk Downs and its partner Caesars Entertainment, which has powerful backers.