City of Springfield Responds to Massachusetts Gaming Commission Vote on MGM Budget
In response to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s vote granting MGM Springfield and other casinos in the Commonwealth some relief from monetary assessments collected by the Gaming Commission, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno is asking MGM to continue to meet its full obligations under the Host Community Agreement.
At its April 9, 2020 meeting, the Gaming Commission voted to adopt recommendations by the MGC’s Office of Finance that, despite the shutdown, the Licensees will continue to pay their assessments, albeit with adjustments to the timing. The MGC also estimates a “surplus” due to reduced costs, and voted to credit $2.15 Million Dollar surplus on behalf of the Casinos.
The Mayor recognized the need to balance the cash flow difficulty MGM is experiencing, while ensuring they are compliant with their legal obligations.
Mayor Sarno stated: “While the Casino may be closed, the City needs to maintain the revenue collected from MGM in order to provide essential City services. We understand that they are experiencing difficulty, but the Gaming Commission has granted some relief. I have directed City Solicitor Ed Pikula to notify MGM that we will work with them while they remain closed as a result of the Governor’s and Gaming Commission’s order, but we need to protect our rights to assure MGM meets its obligations under our Agreements”.
On April 1, 2020, MGM made a payment to the City in the amount of $5,505,785.43 and characterized the payment as a partial payment towards the $7,780,376.32 due under its Agreement with the City.
Mayor Sarno added: “We will continue our collaborative dialogue with MGM as well as the Gaming Commission concerning the impact of the unprecedented public health emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic on MGM’s obligations under the Agreements. We look forward to MGM’s reopening and seeing it prosper. When it does reopen, it will return to its role as a driving economic engine employing thousands of employees and spending millions on local vendors.”
City Councilor Michael Fenton stated, “I stand with Mayor Sarno and the MGC on their stance that we must honor the City’s agreement with MGM Springfield. These are unprecedented times that have necessitated adjustments to all facets of life. I will continue to monitor the situation and will advocate for adjustments to timing and payments only where absolutely necessary. We all look forward to the time when this pandemic is behind us and our economy is once again open for businesses, including MGM Springfield.”
Solicitor Pikula stated: “We will continue to assess the situation given the unprecedented and rapidly evolving circumstances which require constant legal and financial analysis as we respond to this crisis as well as the shutdown of MGM Springfield”.
MGM Springfield President and COO Chris Kelley states, “MGM Springfield values its relationship with the City and appreciates the Mayor’s cooperation and understanding during this unprecedented worldwide health emergency. MGM Springfield will continue to work collaboratively with City officials to satisfy its legal obligations to the City.”