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Casino giant MGM is asking Massachusetts gambling regulators to award it a provisional license so it can begin construction on an $800 million casino in downtown Springfield.
MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis said at a Thursday hearing of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that the casino operator risks losing about $200 million in state fees and other payments because of uncertainty around efforts to repeal the state's 2011 casino law.
He suggested the commission grant MGM a temporary license that did not require the initial state fees but effectively gave it the rights of a full license holder.
The request comes as the state's highest court is set to hear arguments May 5 in an appeal brought by a local group seeking to place an anti-casino referendum on the November ballot.