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MGM Resorts Unveils Mass. Casino Plan

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BRIMFIELD, Mass. — MGM Resorts International says it has signed a contract with a local landowner to develop a resort casino in the western Massachusetts town of Brimfield.

The Las Vegas casino company formally announced its plan Thursday, saying it would purchase 150 acres of land in a remote area of town from the Rolling Hills Estates Realty Trust.

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MGM Resorts chairman Jim Murren said it sought a rural setting near the Massachusetts Turnpike.

"This wooded site is clearly the most isolated of any proposed, not only in western Massachusetts, but we believe in the entire commonwealth," he said.

"We want to build a beautiful resort, but we want to do it in a style that's sensitive to New England and its surroundings."

He said the proposal will include a new off-ramp from the highway.

If MGM wins town approval and then the casino license, proponents say it would result in at least 3,000 permanent jobs.

The plan would compete with several other proposals, including one in nearby Palmer, for the sole casino license in western Massachusetts under the state's new gambling law.

Paul Burns, president of the Palmer Town Council, says he welcomes the competition but believes the Palmer site is "clearly" stronger.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on January 12, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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