MGM Springfield is licensed for Massachusetts sports betting despite missing an application deadline. One member of the state’s legislature wants gambling regulators to ensure that tardy submission bears consequences, though.
A recent letter to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) reveals the wishes of Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Jr. on the matter. Although there’s nothing binding in Puppolo’s call for the MGC, the response of the Commission will be telling about the weight of his words.
Call goes out to fine MGM Springfield
According to Kristina D’Amours of WWLP 22 News, Puppolo explained his position on the incident. Puppolo has represented Springfield and other nearby towns in Boston since 2006.
This was a missed opportunity to hold MGM Springfield to the fire on community complaints of discrimination, false reporting, and failing to deliver jobs and economic development as promised.
The MGC had erected a cut-off date for sports betting license applications of Nov. 22. MGM Springfield failed to file all of the pertinent parts of the application by that date, submitting the final parts of the application a couple of days later.
The Commission voted to accept the application as if it had been completed on time regardless. On Monday, the MGC approved that license application. The casino could start taking bets late next month although a firm, official launch date is not yet set.
So far, Puppolo is the only voice lobbying for a penalty for MGM Springfield’s late application. The casino also refutes Puppolo’s characterization of its relationship with the city and state.
MGM shares its side of the story
MGM Resorts has not responded directly to Puppolo or his call for the commission to levy a fine for its non-compliance. It did refer D’Amours to a previous statement, however.
Since opening our doors in 2018, MGM Springfield has achieved all of our development commitments made to the City of Springfield. As the largest private investment in Western Massachusetts, we’re proud that we’ve been able to provide the city with more than $100 million in tax revenue to-date. And although we were closed for nearly four months in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and under significant operational restrictions for ten months, we were able to provide our team members with healthcare throughout and the benefits afforded through our Employee Assistance Fund. We look forward to working with the City of Springfield as it reinvests this revenue in downtown Springfield, and to continue to work towards our shared goal of revitalizing this historic community and reenergizing downtown Springfield.
The MGC has not responded to Puppolo publicly yet. At this time, there is no item regarding Puppolo’s request on any of the existing agendas for the Commission’s public meetings. That could change at the MGC’s discretion, however.
If the Commission takes no action on Puppolo’s request, the onus could fall on Puppolo to respond. Whether he will continue to push the issue would be up to him at that point. MGM Springfield will likely push back and it’s a safe assumption that the casino prefers this matter go no further.