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West Springfield voters weigh in on casino


WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - West Springfield voters are going to the polls to whether to allow a proposal for the lone casino in the western part of the state to move forward.

Hard Rock International has proposed a resort casino on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition.

Polls are open Tuesday until 8 p.m.

Under state law, each community where a gambling facility has been proposed must hold a referendum to approve the host community agreement between government officials and the casino operator.

West Springfield's agreement with Hard Rock, signed in July by mayor Gregory Neffinger, provides more than $26 million in annual payments to the city and the region, with a minimum of $18 million for the city each year.

All casinos must also be approved by the state gambling commission.