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Ameristar drops casino bid in Mass.

Bob Salsberg, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) -- One of the three companies that had been pursuing a casino license in Springfield is dropping out of the race.

Ameristar Casinos Inc. announced on Friday that it was ending its bid to develop a resort casino on a 40-acre industrial site in the western Massachusetts city.

The Las Vegas-based company said while it believed it had the "superior" proposal; it did not consider the likelihood of it winning the sole western Massachusetts license strong enough to continue the effort.

MGM Resorts International and Penn National Gaming Inc. also have casino plans for Springfield. Proposals are also on the table for gambling facilities in Palmer and Holyoke.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said in a statement the city was very disappointed with Ameristar's withdrawal but said he was confident of strong competition between the two remaining companies.