The state gaming commission held a hearing in Brockton Tuesday to get a final round of feedback before they decide whether to award a license to build a resort casino in the city.

The hearing began with nearly two hours of presentations by backers of the plan to build a casino on the old Brockton Fairgrounds. Neil Bluhm, chairman of Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming said their $677 million project would be among the largest commercial developments in the southeastern part of the state.

“We’ll have 1800 permanent casino jobs, plus 2,000 construction jobs," Bluhm said. "This will help revitalize Brockton, which greatly needs a boost. And all of Southeastern part of the Commonwealth.”

The Gaming Commission is weighing whether to issue the license at the same time that the Mashpee Wampanoag’s have succeeded in getting land taken into trust for the purpose of building a tribal casino in nearby Taunton. Bluhm repeatedly mispronounced the town’s name, as he questioned the likelihood of a tribal casino.

“You’re running the risk that they’ll be no casino in Tauton [SIC], and if that happens, and you don’t give us the license, the Commonwealth’s going to lose in the next five years after we open, roughly 500 million dollars, including a license fee.”

Bluhm acknowledged that his company is helping to fund a legal challenge to the Wampanoag development. That lawsuit, filed by Taunton residents, argues the tribe wasn’t entitled to have the land taken into trust by the federal government.

Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter pleaded with the Gaming Commission to grant developers a license to build a resort casino in his city.

“We are talking about priming the pump of Brockton’s economy with tens of millions of dollars annually, spurring growth and creating private sector jobs,” he said. Carpenter painted a bleak picture of the city’s current state. He said 83 percent of city’s students qualify for free or reduced price lunch, and the city spends nearly a million dollars a year to transport 600 homeless students to school.

“Once again this year, our school budget alone faces a projected deficit in excess of $10 million. Potentially causing over 100 additional teacher layoffs this year and the closing of at least one school.”

Carpenter said $12 and a half million a year from the casino would help with education, traffic improvements, hiring police, and other needs. He said perhaps the biggest challenge Brockton faces is the perception of the city. A casino, he said, would transform Brockton’s image “from a city to drive through to a city to drive to.”

“I’m really disappointed that we are coming off so desperate,” said Brockton City Counselor Shaynah Barnes. “Not every idea is a good idea. We need to take a moment and make sure that what we do is something that can be beneficial and that can be sustained long term.”

Richard Reid, the pastor of a Baptist church in the city spoke in opposition to the plan.

“No great nation or state has ever built prosperity on the foundations of personal debt, addiction, and the steady expansion of businesses that milk the existing wealth, instead of producing new wealth,” Reid said.

Hundreds of Brockton residents came to the meeting, representing both sides of the heated debate.

“I think it’s a terrible thing to put into the middle of a city," said Pat Reilly, who has lived in Brockton for 50 years. "I’m not that much against casinos. It’s just a bad place to put it.”

The fairgrounds location is among the concerns that Susan Thomas has about the project.

“It’s right across the street from the high school," Thomas said. "Brockton is a community of low income people for the most part. We already have a huge addiction problem in the city. And gambling is another addiction for people.”

Voters here narrowly approved the casino plan in a referendum last May, as City Council President Timothy Cruise pointed out.

“The election was held in Brockton and the people of Brockton voted yes on this," he said to both jeers and cheers.

That referendum was decided by less than 150 votes, in an election that opponents say was bought by the casino developers, who vastly outspent the opposition groups.

Now, it’s up to the Gaming Commission to decide the future of the project. The Commission is expected to make its decision by the end of the month.