SPRINGFIELD, Mass., June 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) today received a unanimous vote from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) approving an agreement to award MGM Springfield a license to operate a resort casino in Downtown Springfield. This is the first approval of a casino license in the Commonwealth. The Commission's decision comes after an extensive two-year process of hearings and background investigations culminating in a final week of hearings and deliberations. MGM formally announced its interest in a resort casino in Springfield in August 2012. At one time there was a field of five companies vying for the sole Western Massachusetts casino license. The MGM Springfield site is located on approximately 14.5 acres of land between Union and State streets, and Columbus Avenue and Main Street. Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts, said: "This is a great day for Springfield, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and MGM. We're proud of what our talented team and our many dedicated city and community partners have accomplished together. We thank the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for its thorough vetting process and look forward to continuing our work with Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and other Springfield and Western Massachusetts elected officials and governmental leaders, along with residents and businesses of Springfield and the region, as we move this project forward." Murren was joined by MGM Resorts President Bill Hornbuckle and MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis for today's decision at the MassMutual Center. The crowd gathered included elected officials; civic, business and community leaders; and MGM Springfield supporters. MGM Springfield, an $800 million investment, is designed to ignite an urban revival. MGM and its professional partners worked painstakingly to put together a design that celebrates the history of Springfield while moving the Gateway City into a new era of commerce and economic opportunity. The integrated resort casino is designed to enhance the entire urban center of Springfield. The mixed-used development project calls for a 25-story 250-room hotel with world-class amenities including a spa, pool and roof deck; 125,000 square feet of gaming space with 3,000 slot machines, 75 gaming tables, a poker room and high limit VIP gambling area; about 55,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space that will accommodate 15 shops and restaurants; and a multi-level parking garage.