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."