MGM Springfield is on pace to become the first integrated resort casino to open in Massachusetts. MGM Resorts, the Nevada-based gaming and hospitality conglomerate, confirmed this week that construction is on schedule at its $950 million property, and the venue is targeting an opening date in September of 2018.

MGM Springfield construction 2018

Combining the old with the new, MGM Springfield construction is on pace to open in late 2018. (Image: MGM Springfield)

The bones of the complex have largely been erected, and the majority of construction is now taking place inside. With temperatures already beginning to drop in the northeast, and the fall and winter months just around the corner, staying on track through the summer was imperative in moving MGM Springfield towards its inauguration goal.

Earlier this month, MGM Resorts also revealed that it’s exceeding its diversity goals. Massachusetts’ 2011 Expanded Gaming Act requires casino developers to set such goals.  

In a presentation to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Vice President of Construction and Development Brian Packer said that 23.5 percent of on-site workers are minorities, far above its overall project goal of 15.3 percent. Nearly 10 percent of laborers are women, and 10.2 percent are veterans.

A total of 92 construction commitments have also been reached with companies that are recognized by the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office, Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, or US Department of Veteran Affairs.

MGM Still Fighting Tribes

Two Indian groups are causing concern to Massachusetts’ expanding gambling industry from the neighboring state of Connecticut. The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes have gained the legal right to jointly construct a satellite casino on non-tribal land in East Windsor, roughly 13 miles south of MGM Springfield across the Massachusetts-Connecticut border.

The Connecticut General Assembly and Governor Dannel Malloy (R) have endorsed the move in an effort to keep gaming dollars from flowing north to the $950 million resort. 

Mashantucket’s Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan’s Mohegan Sun are both located in the most eastern part of Connecticut.

MGM has led the fight to stop the East Windsor facility, suing the state on grounds that it didn’t have a competitive bidding process for the state’s third gaming location.

Connecticut officials argued they didn’t have to, as the satellite is earmarked for tribes, not commercial operators. The US Bureau of Indian Affairs agreed, and the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed MGM’s lawsuit in June.

The satellite casino is expected to cost $300 million. The tribes are aiming to open the venue sometime next year.

Tribal Tribulations 

Massachusetts’ Expanded Gaming Act authorized the construction of up to three resort casinos, plus an additional slots-only facility.

Plainridge Park Casino, the slot venue operated by Penn National Gaming, opened in 2015. The $2.4 billion Wynn Boston Harbor is scheduled to open sometime in 2019.

A third and final casino resort can only be approved in the southeastern part of the state. A decision on that license is being delayed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on concerns that the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe will someday win its legal fight to build a Native American casino in Taunton.