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Hard Rock Unveils West Springfield Casino Plan

BOSTON — Another big player is competing for the sole license to build a casino in western Massachusetts.

On Friday, Hard Rock International unveiled plans for a 40-acre complex that would be built on the Eastern States Exposition grounds in West Springfield. That’s the site of The Big E fair.

The resort-style casino, which would cost $700-800 million, would also include a convention center, a concert venue and shops and restaurants, among other features.

Hard Rock has paid the $400,000 nonrefundable application fee with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

The West Springfield proposal makes four competing for the western Massachusetts casino license. It joins MGM Resorts International in Springfield’s South End, Penn National Gaming in Springfield’s North End and Mohegan Sun in the nearby town of Palmer.

Said Hard Rock Chairman Jim Allen on the Springfield competition:

When we look at the competition, and how they are landlocked based upon restrictions in the parcels that they’ve announced, with 175 acres here, and almost 40 of it dedicated to this amazing new resort, we believe this partnership is the true success as far as what our elected officials believed when they approved gaming for Massachusetts and specifically for western Massachusetts.

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