Massachusetts’ casino law is the subject of a repeal question on ballots Tuesday. Secretary of State William Galvin pressed voters to read the summaries on the question since a “yes” would repeal the casino law while a “no” vote on Question 3 is a vote for casinos.
The wheels were already in motion to get casinos in Massachusetts. Locations were selected, resorts drew up plans, but not everyone wanted to roll the dice on gambling in the Bay State.
In Everett, an overwhelming majority voted to have casinos in town, but now it is up to people across the state to decide if they feel they same way.
“We strongly believe the impacts would be felt statewide. And we fought very hard, a lot of people fought very hard to get this on the ballot,” said Derek Barcikowski, who was against casinos in Mass.
In 2011, the state legislature approved casino gambling with the hopes it would bring jobs and money to Massachusetts.
“We believe that there’s going to be a lot of opportunity for a lot of opportunity for many, many people in the state of Massachusetts, 10,000 jobs just in Everett alone,” said supporter Robin Brickley.
Those against casinos think the number of jobs and financial benefits are exaggerated and say the same promises were made in other states.
“You look at Pennsylvania, you look at Ohio, you look at Michigan, you look at what’s happening in Atlantic City, they made the very same promises, they said ‘we’re gonna bring jobs, we’re going to bring good paying jobs, we’re going to give tax revenue to the state,’ they haven’t delivered on that promise,” said Barcikowski.
Already, MGM has plans to build a casino resort in Springfield, and Wynn Resorts is set to build in Everett.
Many towns voted against having a casino in their backyard. In Everett, residents overwhelmingly wanted one.
“This is our second time around. We had an 86 percent on our last vote here. I think people understood what was at stake,” said Brickley.
Now, the public will get the final say.
If voters decide to stay the course, things would happen quickly for the proposed casinos in Everett and Springfield, with anticipated opening dates in 2017.