The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced on Tuesday that it had approved the award of $4.8 million in Community Mitigation Fund grants to communities around Massachusetts. Communities receiving funds include Springfield, West Springfield, Chicopee and Northampton.
The city of Springfield will receive $644,000 in grants to help revitalize the downtown area around MGM Springfield and to make the casino and surrounding area safer.
Breaking down the $644,000 grant
The lion’s share of the $644,000 that the city of Springfield will receive will be allocated to the Springfield Blueprint Plan. A $400,000 grant has been awarded with the intention of making advancements on the strategies laid out in this plan.
The MGC has acknowledged that the MGM Springfield has not had the positive impact on the community that the state was hoping for, and this plan intends to take strides in this area.
Another $200,000 has been granted to help revitalize the downtown area around MGM Springfield, specifically on Dwight Street and Hampden Street. Projected improvements include roadway and sidewalk resurfacing, bicycle accommodations, and safety upgrades.
The remaining $44,000 will be split between Springfield’s police and fire departments. The police funding will go towards the installation of improved technology and the fire department funding will cover defibrillators for those responding to the MGM Springfield area.
Chicopee is receiving a $200,000 transportation grant to allow for streetscape renovations and improvements to the Chicopee Center. The Gaming Commission hopes to provide employees and patrons safer access to the casino.
Investments should help with continued growth of MA casinos
A recent breakdown of how the state’s casinos performed in May has shown an impressive return to form for Massachusetts gaming. Encore Boston Harbor led the way in gross revenue with $52.9 million, MGM Springfield reported $21.2 million, and Plainridge Park generated $12.5 million in slots and $1.1 million on horse racing.
These numbers are up considerably from when they were reported in January. Easing COVID-19 restrictions have certainly helped spark the local gaming industry.
The Gaming Commission is hoping that these local grants will help the local casinos and their communities as well. MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein spoke to the importance of the Community Mitigation Fund in the press release on these grants:
“The MGC is proud to support local communities in their efforts to improve government services and advance needs in road safety, tourism marketing, wellness and recovery services, public safety training and personnel, and job readiness programming.”
Since 2015, the MGC has awarded just under $28 million in grants from the Community Mitigation Fund.