Fifteen Massachusetts communities are spending cash that they received from casinos. They have received approximately five million dollars from three casino operators in the state. None of these casinos have opened their doors yet. This money comes from compensation agreements that were negotiated. This money does not include land sales needed for the developments to begin, or property taxes. Some of the host communities have already begun to receive from casino operators, the property taxes.
These payments to the communities have a range from fifty thousand to more than a million. Springfield received one million, while East Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Ludlow, and Holyoke received fifty thousand each.
Each community is spending the cash on different projects. The majority is choosing to improve intersections and roads, that will be used to get to the casinos. Reasons being, traffic increases that will have to be dealt with will be inevitable. One example, West Springfield will be using $665,000 received from the MGM Resorts International, for reconstructing Memorial Avenue. This road will be used as an access point taking clients to the planned MGM casino in Springfield.
For streets that lead into Springfield, money from MGM will be used by Longmeadow in the amount of $855,000. Stephen Crane, Town Manager states, “We are going to be impacted by traffic and other things from the casino. The funds help, but they will not make the impacts go away. It just helps us manage it better.”
Some communities are spending it on unique ways. Money Medford received from Wynn will be used for Boston Marathon Bombing of 2013, memorial fund for the victims. The amount the fund will receive is $250,000 to use towards the approximate $1 million goal. Nearby Everett, will be home to $1.7 billion casino developed by Wynn.
Some other ways this money is being used is retirees health care, and an initiative for early education. Some communities have not decided where they will use the money from the casinos yet. They believe waiting for the annual payment as well, will help in the decision where to use it.