Tuesday, February 19, 2013 • 7:22 AM Comments ()

Casinos by the Numbers

posted by Maureen Turner

Having a hard time sorting out the various details of the two casino proposals working their way through City Hall?

Here, the Reminder’s Mike Dobbs offers a handy comparison of the two plans, culled from a “Proposal Comparison Matrix,” a somewhat less handy spreadsheet put together by the city.

“Don’t let the fancy name fool you,” Dobbs writes. “The ‘Proposal Assessment and Evaluation Matrix’ that compares the MGM Resorts International Proposal to the Penn National Gaming plan is an old fashioned tale of the tape.”

Based on numbers alone, Dobbs writes, MGM’s proposal for the South End comes out ahead of Penn National’s plan for the North End, with a larger project, including more slot machines and gaming tables, and more hotel space and associated retail. (Whether Springfield would be better served by a large casino or a smaller-scale operation is one of the many things voters will, ideally, get to weigh in on via the upcoming casino ballot question.) Penn National, however, could offer more housing units; while MGM’s plans call for 54 new market-rate units, Penn National’s proposal refers to the possibility of redeveloping 266 units at Morgan Square.

On the all-important issue of job creation, MGM says its project would create 3,071 permanent jobs and 2,000 construction jobs; Penn National says its project would create more construction jobs—2,100—but fewer casino jobs, 2,400.

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