In a Western New England University poll, commissioned by media partners CBS 3 Springfield and Mass Live and The Republican, a majority of city voters are likely in favor of a resort casino in the city.
The poll of more than 400 likely voters, released three days before residents go to vote on the MGM proposal on July 16, shows 55 percent of likely voters approve of the proposal. Thirty-five percent are against it. Eight percent remained undecided.
The residents polled appear to feel very strongly about their choice, as 85 percent said they are very sure about how they will vote, while only 13 percent said they may change their mind.
The most important factor for the voters who will likely vote yes was jobs, as 67 percent of those leaning towards a yes vote said that was the most important factor in their decision.
Of those likely voting against the casino, one in four said a potential increase in crime downtown is the biggest factor for their decision.
Thirty-eight percent of the likely voters said they are not likely at all to go gamble at the casino, but that same amount said they are likely to attend a show or concert at the facility.
MGM is proposing an $800 million casino resort in Springfield's South End. They say it will bring 3,000 permanent jobs, as well as 2,000 construction jobs, to the area. They are competing with Hard Rock in West Springfield and Mohegan Sun in Palmer for the lone Western Massachusetts casino license.
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