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State allows MGM Springfield to serve alcohol until 4 a.m.

This April 3, 2018 photo shows construction progress on the MGM Casino in downtown Springfield, Mass., which is on track to open in August, a few weeks ahead of schedule. MGM Resorts International President Bill Hornbuckle said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, April 25, that August 24 is the new planned opening date for its $960 million downtown resort complex. The company had previously envisioned opening it sometime in September. (Don Treeger/The Republican via AP)

Gamblers at MGM Springfield will be able to drink alcohol until 4 a.m.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday approved extending alcohol service to those actively gambling on the casino's gaming floor. All other bars and restaurants on the 14-acre complex would still have to stop serving liquor by the traditional 2 a.m. cutoff.

The Springfield City Council approved the plan earlier this month, but many area residents voiced opposition in written comments to gambling regulators, saying it would lead to more drunken driving and crime.

The Massachusetts Restaurant Association said the plan would also put local bars and restaurants at a disadvantage. MGM officials argue that late night drinking is an expected part of the casino experience.

MGM Springfield is slated to open Aug. 24 as the state's first resort casino.

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