Construction continues on MGM Springfield, a commercial gaming facility in Springfield, Massachusetts. Photo: MGM Springfield

Non-Indian firm fighting tribes announces earlier opening date for casino

The non-Indian firm whose efforts to prevent the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe from opening a new casino appear to be paying off plans to open its own facility ahead of schedule.

MGM Springfield in Massachusetts will debut August 24, MGM Resorts International announced on Twitter and in a press release on Thursday. That's a few weeks earlier than anticipated.

"It has just come together amazingly well," MGM President Bill Hornbuckle told The Springfield Republican, citing relatively mild winters as a boost to construction of the $960 million resort.

Meanwhile, just across the border in Connecticut, the tribes are stuck at ground zero. Though they started initial demolition work on a long-delayed casino, they are unable to move forward amid heavy opposition from MGM in the nation's capital and in New England.

The tribes secured approval under state law to develop a new, jointly-operated casino. They chose a site in East Windsor -- less than 15 miles from Springfield -- in order to compete with MGM.

MGM failed to derail the state law with a series of lawsuits. But the firm has been able to convince some lawmakers to support plans for a new casino, in a different region of Connecticut, an effort that has placed a cloud on the tribal project.

Separately, MGM has been lobbying the Trump administration and members of Congress. The Department of the Interior has since refused to sign off on key agreements that are needed for the tribal facility.

Read More on the Story:
MGM Springfield reveals $960 million resort casino to open earlier than expected (The Springfield Republican April 26, 2018)
MGM Springfield Will Open August 24 Ahead Of Initial Expectations (The Hartford Courant April 26, 2018)
MGM Springfield to open late August (WWLP April 26, 2018)
MGM sets August opening date for Massachusetts casino (The Associated Press April 26, 2018)

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