Springfield voters now have their say on a plan by MGM Resorts International to build an $800 million casino in the western Massachusetts city.
The agreement calls for the company to make more than $25 million in annual payments to the city if the casino is built.
Voters must approve it before MGM can apply to the state gambling commission for the single casino license that will be granted in western Massachusetts. Two other casino proposals have been made in the region.
Casino backers say the project would bring jobs and economic development to an area of Springfield damaged by a tornado two years ago.
But opponents say casinos prey on low-income and elderly people and gambling addicts.
Steven Crosby, the Chairman of the Casino Commission says that if voters approve the proposal then it will go on for further review before the commission later this year. He says however if it is defeated it is all but a dead deal. The Chairman says that the only way the MGM proposal could be reconsidered is if the two other western Mass sites proposals are also defeated and then the process would start all over again.
The polls are open from 7AM to 8PM.