- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - The state’s top gambling regulator says MGM’s $800 million casino plan for downtown Springfield is a “genuinely ambitious and unusual effort” that presents a “real possibility” for lifting the economic fortunes of the entire Pioneer Valley.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby, giving an overall assessment of the project on Wednesday at the MassMutual center, said he was convinced the casino plan is unique enough to compete against Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and draw tourists from Connecticut and New York.

Crosby’s assessment completes the commission’s final review of MGM’s proposal, which is the lone applicant for the state’s western region casino license.

The five-member panel will discuss terms and conditions of the license Wednesday afternoon. It plans to finalize the casino license - the state’s first - on Friday.

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