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Mass. gambling panel to hold hearing on Springfield casino proposal

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SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts — The state gambling commission is headed to Springfield to hear from residents and local officials about MGM Resorts' plan to build an $800 million resort casino.

The hearing on Tuesday comes just weeks before the panel is expected to award the sole western Massachusetts casino license.

The Springfield proposal is the only one vying for the regional license.

The commission says the meeting at the MassMutual Center will allow members of the community to express concerns or ask questions. The project is slated for an area of downtown Springfield heavily damaged in a June 2011 tornado.

A host community agreement with MGM approved by Springfield voters promises the city annual payments of $25 million if the casino is built.

Residents of surrounding communities also are invited to offer comments at the hearing.

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