Governor-elect Baker praises development of MGM casino in downtown Springfield

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Governor-elect Baker praises development of MGM casino in downtown Springfield

Governor-elect Charlie Baker on Friday visited west-central Massachusetts and praised the development of MGM Resorts International's casino in downtown Springfield.

MGM is developing an $800-million casino project downtown Springfield. It is the largest private-sector development in the history of western Massachusetts. At the Springfield City Hall, Baker assured Mayor Domenic Sarno that his administration would provide all necessary support to the project.

He added that he wanted to support the new project in a way that that would be sensitive to the surrounding communities.

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Supporting the casino project, he said, "I really want to be supportive of that project. It's got a lot of really innovative features. But I also want to do it in a way that is sensitive to the surrounding communities."

It was Republican Baker's first visit to western Massachusetts as governor-elect. Baker won the race for Governor by narrowly defeating Democrat Martha Coakley on Tuesday, four years after losing the same race to Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission officially awarded licenses to MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts for opening the state's first legal resort casinos, after voters resoundingly upheld the 2011's casino law in ballot held on Tuesday. MGM has plans to build a hotel, casino & entertainment complex covering roughly three city blocks.

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