Springfield mayor speaks about casino ending its pursuit in city - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Springfield mayor speaks about casino ending its pursuit in city

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Late Friday afternoon, Ameristar decided to stop pursuing a casino in Western Massachusetts.

The company was the first casino resort to commit to Springfield, purchasing 40 acres of land at the old Westinghouse site off of Page Boulevard.

Along with MGM and Penn National, the company passed phase one of Springfield's casino selection process.

However, in a press release on Friday, Ameristar said they believed they were not likely going to win the bid and cited issues with the selection process, which led to them terminating their pursuit of a casino in the region.

Sunday, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno addressed Ameristar's decision.

"Our whole strategy was to make sure that we would have competition," said Sarno. "They brought a unique perspective, whether a downtown site or non-downtown site. Believe me, we wanted them to stay here and continue to compete. They are in the gambling business as it is. For reward, there is risk. It was their decision. I was very disappointed that they left. I wish them the best."

The two remaining Springfield proposals are from MGM and Penn National, which have both proposed $800 million casino resorts near downtown.

Sarno said both companies will make presentations to the public at City Stage on Dec. 11.

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