(Updated November 8, 2017, 1:15 pm PT with added MGM statement)
Massachusetts lawmakers have now passed a measure that would make it easier for persons with criminal histories to work at casinos in the state. Under the law, people working in state casinos have to pass a criminal background check before being hired.
A statement from MGM Springfield said: “MGM Springfield and many Springfield-area groups advocated for changes in the gaming law so that certain job classifications would not be strictly prohibited. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted to recommend a path forward to making some adjustments to the gaming law on this topic.
“Passed by both legislative bodies and signed by the Lieutenant Governor, the resulting legislation opens up job opportunities for a significant number of Springfield and Commonwealth residents. It will allow MGM Springfield to present true career paths to people who need them most.”
Officials from the new MGM Springfield, which is scheduled to open in mid to late 2018, had cited research indicating more than half of the unemployed population in Springfield would be forbidden from working any job at the casino/resort if state regulations were not relaxed.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission had requested the amendment, so some jobs, such bartenders or hotel workers not involved directly with gambling, would still be open to people with criminal records as non-violent offenders.