Keeping one’s word used to be the respectful, righteous, and American thing to do. A person’s reputation was often based on that – and businesses, and countries, and even states – unless that state passes legislation for casino expansion and then wants to repeal it after investments are made.
As it gets closer to handing out the casino licenses in Massachusetts, and after prospective casino operators dropped millions of dollars on their applications, a group wants to repeal the casino law on the November ballot.
It’s like asking for prospective builders to pay for submitting their plans to build a facility on property you own. So, the companies follow the monetary apllications and other required plans in “good will” – drawing up the blue prints, and paying their employees to make the subsequent offer based upon weeks of calculations and specs. But the, the property reconsiders and says “Sorry, we have decided to just pave it and put in a parking lot. But thanks for your interest, your plans AND YOUR MONEY!”
Now it’s up to the state Supreme Judicial Court to decide whether the “Repeal the Casino Deal” group campaign can move forward. In a brief filed with the court, business advocacy group Massachusetts Competitive Partnership tells justices to just say no to the ballot initiative, arguing “the potential economic harm of the Petition would extend far beyond the businesses that have directly invested in legalized gaming and could potentially damage the reputation of the Commonwealth for years to come.”
Interestingly, according to Bruce Mohl of the CommonWealth Magazine, “Wynn Enterprises did not help fund the attorneys who are arguing before the Supreme Judicial Court to keep the question off the ballot and the company is saying it won’t jump into the referendum campaign if the measure does make it on to the ballot in November…Three casino companies – Mohegan Sun, MGM, and Penn National – are funding the current legal work. Officials say Wynn was invited to participate but declined.” This means the spending campaign gap between pro & con would narrow – if it ever got on the ballot.
According to Shirley Lueng of the Boston Globe, “…businesses hate working in a climate of uncertainty, and giving voters the chance to undo the casino law would make the state the laughingstock of economic development officials nationwide….We’ve worked hard to make our state business friendly, but the casino process has shown the only thing predictable about Massachusetts is how unpredictable we can be. That’s not something to brag about.”
So, is Massachusetts the place that people and business’s can trust?
Michael Mathis, president of MGM Springfield, said his company has already spent $30 million to $40 million on its pursuit of a casino license in Springfield, and “to not even be able to open our facility . . . I think is troubling.” Does anti-casino activist John Ribeiro’s repeal group realize that? Would any of them pay for something they wouldn’t ever get and not be upset. Maybe Mr. Ribeiro wouldn’t mind repaying all casino companies – even those who were dismissed in the beginning – all the money the state of Massachusetts took in with facade of a casino expansion they created. Then they could all go away, and Massachusetts – or should I say “now-we-really-need-to-be-called-Taxachusetts” – can find the lost revenue and the payback revenue from , from, …….well, who knows?. Or, maybe Mr. Ribeiro has a magic money tree somewhere that he hasn’t told the legislature yet.
With all of this going on, would anyone want to build a casino in theBay State? Or for that matter, a 7- Eleven?
That’s all for now.