Ameristar drops Springfield casino effort

An artist’s rendering for Ameristar Casinos’ proposed $910 million casino in Springfield. Ameristar plans a 150,000-square-foot gambling floor with 3,300 slot machines, and 110 table games; a 500-room luxury hotel with 50 suites; as well as indoor and outdoor resort swimming pools, a spa, a fitness center, and retail stores.
The casino that was not meant to be: An artist’s rendering for Ameristar’s proposed Springfield casinoAmeristar

Ameristar Casinos Inc. has dropped its nearly year-long effort to build a casino in Springfield, the company said this afternoon, because it did not believe it had a strong enough chance to win the city’s local competition among casino developers.

Ameristar had been competing in Springfield with MGM Resorts and Penn National Gaming. In October, the three companies had met a deadline for a formal proposal and submission of a $50,000 fee to the city.

Ameristar does not expect to compete for a license at any other site in Massachusetts, but did not completely rule it out.

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The company, which owns 41 acres of land in east Springfield, intends to eventually market and sell it.

Ameristar released some details of its proposal at the time. It said it planned a $910 million development with 3,300 slot machines, 110 table games, a 500-room hotel, parking for 4,300 cars, plus restaurants, a spa, pools, and meeting space.

Under the casino law, the state gambling commission can issue up to three licenses for resort-style casinos, no more than one in each of three regions of the state. The panel also controls one slot parlor license, which can be issued in any region.

Ameristar’s announcement comes just days after Las Vegas casino builder Steve Wynn toured a site in Everett, raising the prospect of a battle of titans for the greater Boston license. Suffolk Downs and partner Caesars Entertainment are already proposing a casino in the area.

The state gambling commission has set a Jan. 15 deadline for casino applicants to submit extensive financial documentation and a $400,000 non-refundable fee.

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