Bob Salsberg, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Casino company MGM Resorts International hopes to develop a resort casino on a 150-acre site in a small town in the western part of the state near the Massachusetts Turnpike, a person familiar with the plan said Wednesday.

MGM Resorts would become the latest casino operator to propose a gambling facility since the state Legislature in November passed a law authorizing three resort casinos, including one in western Massachusetts. The company plans to partner with local landowner David Callahan to develop the site in Brimfield, a rural town of fewer than 4,000 residents about 80 miles west of Boston.

The person familiar with the plan spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because it hadn’t been formally announced. A news conference by Callahan to unveil details of his casino development plan was scheduled for Thursday.

Callahan, chief executive of Palmer Paving Corp. and a principal of Rolling Hills Estates Realty Trust, told selectmen in Brimfield during a meeting in October that he was interested in developing a resort casino on the land, which is just north of the turnpike.

The proposal could be in competition with several others for the coveted casino license in the area.

Other potential bidders include: Ameristar Casinos Inc., which hopes to build a casino in Springfield; Hard Rock International, which wants to put a casino in Holyoke; and Mohegan Sun, which has proposed a gambling facility in Palmer.

A five-member state gaming commission that has yet to be formed will award the licenses. Under the new law, voters in a host community must approve a casino proposal before it can be considered by the commission.

MGM Resorts, based in Las Vegas, operates several luxury casinos on the Las Vegas Strip including MGM Grand, Bellagio and Mandalay Bay.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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