Hard Rock applies for Massachusetts gaming license

Hard Rock International has applied for the single gaming license Massachusetts plans to grant for the western part of the state.

The company is pitching a hotel-casino project that will have as many as 500 rooms, a 200,000-square-foot casino and as many as 3,000 slot machines.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino New England would be built in West Springfield, Mass., on a 38-acre parcel owned by Eastern States Exposition, which puts on the 17-day Big E festival each September.

Hard Rock, with its rock 'n' roll theme, joins MGM Resorts International and Penn National Gaming among companies that are pitching hotel-casino projects for western Massachusetts. Ameristar in October had pitched a $910 million hotel-casino near Springfield, but has since walked away from that effort.

The state’s application deadline for developers to propose projects is Jan. 15.

Massachusetts in late 2011 signed a bill allowing for three gaming licenses for casino resorts: one each in western Massachusetts, southeastern Massachusetts and the Boston area.

Wynn Resorts was reported to be pitching a project for the Boston area.

Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly. 

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