Drawing from city's proud past, can casino spur revival?

Published 08-19-2018

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Massachusetts's first Las Vegas-style resort casino is opening in a struggling city west of Boston.

MGM Springfield opens Aug. 24 roughly three years after breaking ground. Casino officials recently gave The Associated Press a sneak peek as the facility nears completion.

The casino, hotel, shopping and dining complex spans roughly three city blocks.

Its outside is meant to blend in with the historic downtown streetscape while whimsical touches inside evoke the city's history, including ties to children's author Dr. Seuss, poet Emily Dickinson, and the invention of basketball.

Kevin Kennedy is Springfield's chief development officer. He says the casino is already helping spur new investment.

But Paul DeBole, a professor at Lasell College in Newton, says it's an open question whether the casino can meet its lofty financial promises.

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