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MGM requests July 16 referendum in Springfield on $800 million casino plan

The formal request Tuesday follows the Springfield city council’s approval last week of a host community agreement signed by Mayor Domenic Sarno and MGM. The agreement calls for the company to make annual payments of more than $25 million to the city if the casino is built.

Sarno chose MGM’s proposal over a plan offered by Penn National Gaming.

Voters must now approve the proposal before it can be formally submitted to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

MGM’s is one of three companies vying for the state’s lone casino license in Western Massachusetts. Mohegan Sun has proposed a casino in Palmer, and Hard Rock International is planning one in West Springfield.

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