SPRINGFIELD -- In a few short months, downtown Springfield, Massachusetts, will look very different.
“On August 24th, this year, we are going to be opening our doors at MGM Springfield," said Alex Dixson, General Manager of MGM Springfield.
A new casino that will now be just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Connecticut border.
"From Connecticut, it's going to be proximity," said Dixson. "So you're going to be able to get on that 911, come up make a right turn, and be right in our 3,400 space parking garage."
A location that some here in Connecticut say will be more practical.
“I am actually really excited about it because driving down to Mohegan and Foxwoods, an hour and half away is not a lot of fun," says Christina DiBacco of Enfield. "Seen as this one is 15 minutes away from my house, it’s going to be a whole lot easier to have those nights off.”
Being so close will also offer additional opportunities to residents in the area.
"We are going to be hiring 3,000 jobs here in downtown Springfield," said Dixson. "There are tons of opportunities that we encourage people from throughout western Massachusetts, and the Connecticut region to go online, apply today, and join the team here at MGM Springfield."
MGM Springfield has already hired some Connecticut residents in marketing, food and beverage, as well as culinary jobs, and say some have also enrolled in gaming school as well.
“I think it is going to be a battle to try to keep things here," says Kevin Clark of New Britain. "But, I think it is good for the spirit of business.”
Some adding that this new casino may even spark change in Connecticut.
"Personally, I think competition is always good between businesses, it kind of creates innovation, and just makes people work harder," says Daniel Lee of Willmington, Massachusetts. "So, in terms of Connecticut casinos, maybe it will make them open something else or do something different than they’re doing right now.”
Meanwhile, here in Connecticut, up at the State Capitol, lawmakers are still ironing out details for legislation that would allow for a third casino to be built in East Windsor on non-tribal land.
The old Showcase movie theater in East Windsor, now fully demolished, could soon be grounds for what may be competition for MGM Springfield in the future.
“Good for them for working together, and trying to keep business here," says Clark. "I’ll definitely be visiting both though.”
You can learn more on their website.