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HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) — A western Massachusetts mayor whose opposition to casino plans helped him win last year’s election at age 22 is now supporting a bid to bring a gambling resort to town.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse is expected to announce Monday that he is backing plans for a casino near Interstate 91 on the side of Mount Tom.

Morse says he changed his mind because a casino would be a big boost to the city’s struggling economy. He acknowledges flip-flopping on the issue and is prepared for a backlash, but he says it’s in the best interests of the city.

A 1-year-old law allows up to three resort-style casinos in Massachusetts, but just one in the western part of the state. Three major casino operators have proposed gambling resorts in Springfield.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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