The deadline has passed for MGM Resorts International to reach mitigation fund deals with Longmeadow and West Springfield regarding its proposed casino in downtown Springfield.
The deals will now be negotiated by an arbitrator assigned by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
West Springfield Town Council Vice President Brian Griffin said they had continued to hold out hope to reach some sort of an agreement with the casino company, but at this point they are preparing for arbitration.
March 20 was the deadline that casino companies had to reach deals with surrounding towns in their casino bid.
Griffin said his town has respect for MGM, but they have to look out for the interests of their citizens, and the two sides could not agree on compensation.
Longmeadow was approved to be a "surrounding community" by the state gaming commission in February based on the anticipated increase in traffic nearby the intersection of Route 5 and Interstate 91.
Representatives from Longmeadow initially asked for nearly $1 million up front and $500,000 a year, plus yearly increases. The traffic from Connecticut will increase dramatically, especially on Route 5 and other secondary roads, according to Longmeadow officials.
Several Western Mass. businesses and towns, including Northampton, Hampden, West Springfield and Longmeadow, stood in front of the Mass. Gaming Commission in Boston at a meeting in February and presented why they believed they should get money from MGM Springfield.
MGM Resorts International has proposed an $800 million casino in downtown Springfield and is the only remaining applicant for the sole casino license available in western Massachusetts.
Mohegan Sun has struck deals with seven surrounding communities near their proposed $1.3 billion resort.
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