Springfield, Mass. casino plans heard

Updated:

SPRINGFIELD (AP) - Penn National Gaming and MGM ResortsInternational, competing for a casino license in Springfield, have discussedtheir proposals at a public meeting.

Also Tuesday, Penn National and The Republican newspaper announced an optionagreement for Penn to buy the newspaper's properties in downtown Springfield ifPenn wins the license.

Penn National and local partner Peter A. Picknelly, chairman and CEO of PeterPan Bus Lines, propose a resort casino and hotel on 13.4 acres in the NorthEnd, which also includes bus company land. Penn National said Tuesday itsproject includes regionally-themed restaurants, one a sports bar involvingretired quarterback Doug Flutie.

MGM Resorts International proposes an $800 million resort casino, hotel andentertainment complex on a 10-block site downtown. MGM said it would includeshops and apartments, and take advantage of Springfield's existing tourismassets.