Voters to Decide Repeal of State Casino Law in November

The state Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that a question calling for repeal of the law could be included on the ballot.

Massachusetts voters will have a say in the state's 2011 casino gambling law this November, as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday that a question calling for repeal of the law could be included on the ballot.

Previously, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley found that a ballot question calling for the repeal of the 2011 Expanded Gaming Act was unconstitutional, as casino developers would lose property without compensation, according to NECN. While the move on Tuesday would overturn her finding, Coakley said that she was pleased the SJC ruled on the matter so it can go to voters in the fall, Boston.com reported

Gov. Deval Patrick signed the Expanded Gaming Act into law in November 2011. The law was designed allow for up to three destination resort casinos located in three regions across the state and single slots facilities for one location statewide, according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Moreover, the law aims to create thousands of jobs in the state and generate anywhere from $300-$500 million in new revenue. 

Casino opponents in Massachusetts have been working on putting a question on a ballot that would repeal the law since 2013, according to MassLive. To read more about the 2011 Expanded Gaming Act, click here

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chair Steve Crosby, meanwhile, responded to the ruling Tuesday with the following statement

"The Massachusetts Gaming Commission respects the decision of the Supreme Court to allow the citizens of the Commonwealth to vote on the repeal of expanded gaming in November. As the Commission has demonstrated in the past, we have the flexibility to achieve progress in the licensing and regulatory process even in an atmosphere of uncertainty and we will continue to do so. Although the Commission has not taken a position on the repeal, we are committed to implementing the law as it currently exists in a manner that is participatory, transparent and fair."

Stretch June 26, 2014 at 05:23 AM
Viking June 26, 2014 at 05:40 AM
Casinos are bad for people who may become serial gamblers, bad for their families, and bad for the towns adjacent to a casino town. The casino town gets all the money; adjacent towns get no income and a lot of unsavory residents. Read up on the CT experience. This should have been put to a vote in the first place.
John Doe June 26, 2014 at 09:35 AM
It was put to a vote year ago! Twice! Also, lets be honest, th residents of Fall River are already pretty unsavory...and its not my responsibility to tailor my life to "problem gamblers". The state has no problem taking money from the elderly who cash their SS checks and buy 250 lotto tickets. ..


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