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MGM Casino open a few weeks earlier







MGM Resorts executives have a message for Springfield: We're not going anywhere.

On Thursday, company officials building a casino in the Western Massachusetts City said they would open about 2 million square feet of gambling emporium a few weeks before the plan opens on August 24.

Springfield officials and residents have sought some assurances from MGM, given recent events. There are rumors that Wynn Resorts may sell its casino project in Boston as state regulators have investigated sexual assault against its current ex-CEO Steve Wynn; MGM was mentioned as a possible buyer. Casino operators are only allowed one license, so the fate of the MGM casino in Springfield was suddenly in the air.

MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis said in an interview that his team is not thinking about Boston. It's all Springfield ̵

1; all the time. Earlier, Mathis said the project, the first full-scale casino in Massachusetts, would open in the fall. Now he attributes the faster timeline partly to the weather, which is better than expected.

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Time is money, especially in gambling. The completion of the $ 960 million project in August means it will be open for two major annual events: the Basketball Hall of Fame Launch and the Big E Agricultural Fair. MGM has hired 400 people, Mathis said, and expects to hire another 200 in early May. The complex, including its 250-room hotel, will provide 3,000 jobs after opening.

MGM has not ruled out any public interest in Wynn Boston Harbor. But Jim Murren, CEO of MGM, told analysts Thursday that a Wynn acquisition is unlikely and MGM President Bill Hornbuckle visited Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno this week to highlight MGM's commitment.

Wynn still has to prove it will stay in Everett. But MGM managers hope their words can alleviate similar concerns in Springfield.

Jon Chesto can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto .


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