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Regulators to Give Formal Approval to Springfield Casino

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File photo of a blackjack game. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images Sport)

File photo of a blackjack game. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images Sport)

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) _ State gambling regulators are expected to finalize a deal making MGM Springfield Massachusetts’ first licensed casino operator.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission votes Friday morning to approve an agreement reached in principle earlier this week with MGM.

Under the proposed terms, the state would grant MGM the western region casino license, one of three authorized under the 2011 casino law.

MGM would not be required to immediately pay the $85 million licensing fee because of uncertainty over a proposed November ballot question that could repeal the casino law. The state’s high court could block it from appearing on the ballot.

The Las Vegas casino giant’s more than $800 million proposal calls for a casino, hotel, entertainment and shopping complex in downtown Springfield. It was the only proposal to survive a two-year competition for the western Massachusetts license.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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