Anti-casino Group Pushing to Vote on Initiative in Nov. 2014 Election
Casino construction plans around Massachusetts are in various stages of progress, but they may be reversed as an anti-casino group received a court injunction on Saturday. This development may put a question on the 2014 ballot to repeal the law that allows casinos to exist in the state.
“Repeal the Casino Deal,” the anti-casino group, filed a petition on Aug. 7 to repeal the state law enacted in 2011 that allows for three casinos and one slot parlor to be licensed in the Commonwealth. The group had to file for an injunction after Mass. Attorney Gen. Martha Coakley did not certify the initiative for the 2014 ballot on Sept. 4 due to conflicts with existing laws.
Ballot Question to Repeal Casino Law Gaining Support And Gets Second Look
A statewide anti-casino coalition has filed a court challenge of the attorney general’s decision to bar a planned ballot question to repeal the 2011 law to allow casinos in Massachusetts.
Attorney General Martha Coakley will agree to the challenge, called an injunction, effectively allowing the coalition to collect signatures for the proposed ballot question while the challenge is pending before the state’s highest court.
John F. Ribeiro of Winthrop, chairman of the Committee to Repeal the Casino Deal, said “People are even more energized to go out and collect signatures. This is about democracy. This is beyond the casino question. This is about people having the right to vote on a critical issue that could change the state forever.” Ribeiro said the coalition is emboldened by Tuesday’s vote in West Springfield to defeat the planned Hard Rock casino resort and other casino defeats around the state.
UMass Professor In Favor of Western Mass Casino for Graduating Students’ Jobs
Hospitality & Tourism Management Department Head Haemoon Oh says that they have also added an online course, which is gaining popularity. Enrollment in some of these casino management courses has doubled in the last year.
Professor Oh added that 70% of the department’s graduates stay in the state, and a western Massachusetts casino will only mean more jobs for graduating students.
“We, as a four year college, are targeting middle and upper-level managerial positions; in the long run, the high level senior management positions. We are looking at other job opportunities casinos can bring, like hotel resorts and restaurants,” he said. Oh says that UMass could provide a casino operator with a skilled solid workforce and potential for a co-op relationship. The UMass Hospitality Department offers five courses dedicated to teaching students about casino and event management.
State Rep Hopes House Blocks Tribe’s Gaming Compact
With a committee vote clearing the path for legislative debate on a second gaming compact between the state and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, some in the southeastern region of Massachusetts are calling for lawmakers to reject the accord needed for the tribe’s Taunton casino bid. The new compact includes a sliding scale to determine how much the Mashpee tribe pays the state, granting 21 percent if no other casinos open in Massachusetts, 17 percent if a casino opens in one of the other regions, an additional 2 percent reduction if a slots parlor opens in the southeast, and zero if another casino opens in the region, a possibility since gaming regulators have opened the region to applicants.
Meanwhile, the town of Plainville, which is located in the eastern Massachusetts region, approved a ballot referendum to bring a slots parlor operated by Penn National Gaming to the Plainridge Racetrack.
That’s all for now.