Massachusetts Pro-Casino Referendum Takes the Day

Massachusetts Pro-Casino Referendum Takes the Day

Ah, sweet victory: Steve Wynn’s Everett, Massachusetts casino can finally move forward after having a referendum vote supporting casinos passed away last night.

Residents of Massachusetts have selected to uphold the state’s three-year-old casino law, voting overwhelmingly in yesterday’s midterms in favor of maintaining the fledgling casino market, as the polls had predicted.

Somewhat confusingly, ‘no’ meant ‘yes’ for casinos on this ballot, as voters were asked perhaps the law should be repealed, with 59.5 % to 40.5 percent deciding that no, it will not be repealed, meaning that yes, they desired gambling enterprises.

Some commentators have recommended that the language used in posing the question was deliberately muddled and created to confuse.

Nonetheless, it is a victory for MGM and Wynn Resorts, who have had their respective projects provided the greenlight by regulators and who can now finally and definitely move forward with the licensing procedure, a privilege for which they will fork out $85 million a piece before a single cornerstone is set.

Not surprisingly, casino executives had been jubilant and anxious to emphasize exactly what the casinos will do for their communities that are future.

‘Voters across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts today voiced their support of the 10,000 job that is permanent and significant financial benefits supplied by the Gaming Act of 2011,’ said pleased MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren. ‘MGM Resorts International would like to thank the thousands of volunteers and supporters who comprehended exactly what is at stake and worked so difficult to bring this historic opportunity to realization for themselves and their neighbors … we is now able to begin the job of rebuilding a great downtown, and igniting a renaissance in Western Massachusetts.’

The Following Big Step

MGM now plans to create an $800 million casino resort on a plot that is 14.5-acre downtown Springfield, with construction likely to begin within the spring and a scheduled opening in the summer of 2017.

Wynn Resorts, meanwhile, which fought a bidding that is protracted with Mohegan Sun for the right to apply for the only east Massachusetts license, the right it was granted just in early September, will go ahead with its plans to build a $1.6 billion casino on a contaminated former chemical plant in Everett, north of Boston. Wynn will pay millions to have the site cleaned up and decontaminated before construction ensues.

‘it,’ said Wynn Resorts Senior Vice President Robert DeSalvio while it has been a long process, the benefits to everyone in the Commonwealth will be worth.

Never in Doubt?

The license that is third secured early in the day within the year by Penn National Gaming, which quickly moved ahead having its plans to expand Plainridge Park harness racetrack as a slots parlor, despite knowing there is a chance that the bill could be repealed.

‘It’s a risk, however it’s a calculated risk,’ said Jay Snowden, Penn National’s chief operating officer, almost a year back. ‘We’re confident we will prevail in November.’

And he had been right, nevertheless the issue had been perhaps never really in doubt. While the Repeal the Deal contingent was vocal, it lacked the funding of its powerful opponents, and the pro-casino vote had led regularly in the polls.

According to campaign that is recent reports, ‘no’ (meaning yes) vote campaigners had raised nearly $12 million, most of it donated by casino businesses, while the ‘yes’ meaning no vote was in a position to raise just $675,000.

MGM donated $2.5 million and Wynn Resorts $1 million, while Penn National topped the bill with $3.2 million. This ended up being the explanation that the effort that is pro-casino in a position to spend $2 million on casino marketing in October alone, at a time whenever its opponents had been a declaring a balance of $30,000 and debts of $400,000.

Nationwide Election Results May Affect US Online Gambling

Supporters of a Wynn casino in Everett celebrated the defeat of the casino repeal effort in Massachusetts. (Image: Barry Chin/Globe Staff)

Election Day 2014 didn’t feature a referendum on Internet gambling, nor did anything earth-shattering occur that will forever replace the video gaming landscape in the us.

Still, there were a true number of local results that were of interest to those who worry about gambling issues, and one overarching storyline that could shape the movement of this debate over online gambling for the next two years.

That big story, as you might have guessed, had been the Republican slot machine game quick hits takeover of the Senate.

While final results (including a runoff election and a choice by Independent Senator Angus King on which party to caucus with) won’t be known for some time, the GOP has clinched at the very least 52 seats within the Senate, one a lot more than had been needed in order to just take the majority.

Republican Majority and Online Poker

The Republican majorities in both houses are worth keeping an eye on while this shouldn’t incite panic among those who enjoy online gambling. Thanks to a plank into the national Republican platform and the support of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, the most vocal voices opposed to online gambling tend in the future from the GOP. The majority that is new lead supporters of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act to try and advance the bill in Congress.

However, the likelihood of such a bill passing are still rather slim. Not everyone in the Republican Party is in favor of an online gambling ban, as well as many of those which can be may not think the problem is worth fighting over, as it really is hardly a major consideration among the list of public that is general. While those in favor of a ban might be able to court support that is enough democratic offset the losses inside their own party, that’s far from particular, and the possibility of a split within the GOP in the issue may be enough to end it from ever gaining any energy.

Massachusetts Casino Repeal Defeated Handily

Much more results that are local there were two ballot initiatives of great interest to the gaming industry, one on each coast. On the East Coast, perhaps the gambling that is highest-profile of the 12 months occurred in Massachusetts, where anti-casino activists were hoping to repeal a law that allowed for the licensing and building of three resort casinos in hawaii, along side a slots parlor. As present polling suggested, the anti-casino forces came up well short, with 59 percent voting ‘No’ on the repeal.

Still, state officials acknowledged that the portion that is significant of population that had been against their efforts had made their sounds heard.

‘ We understand that approximately 41 percent voted in favor of the ballot initiative [meaning for the repeal], and it’s also our job to carry on to make the self-confidence of all of the the people in Massachusetts proponents and opponents alike,’ said Steve Crosby, chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Meanwhile, voters in California rejected Proposition 48, a measure that could have permitted the North Fork Rancheria Band of Mono Indians to build a casino that is major 40 miles away from their reservation. Had the proposition passed, opponents said it could have set a precedent allowing tribes to build video gaming facilities far beyond their lands.

‘This vote no puts the ball squarely in the state Legislature’s court: they now can make a policy that is consistent tribal gaming,’ said Cheryl Schmit, director of operate for California, a group opposing the proposition.

Some gubernatorial events may also provide an impact on the future of both land-based and gambling that is online different states. Perhaps most notably, the re-election of Florida governor Rick Scott in a tight competition over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist was viewed as a bad sign for on line gambling into the state, as Scott has become a supporter of Adelson’s efforts to ban Internet gambling.

Chukchansi Gold Casino Tribal Leaders Turn Themselves In After Break-In

Tex McDonald, leader of the group that stormed the Chukchansi casino month that is last turns himself in. (Image: fresnobee.com)

Two tribal council members charged with serious offenses relating to last month’s armed standoff during the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino near Coarsegold, California have turned themselves in. The casino had been stormed by 20 armed men on October 9, the culmination of a strange power struggle between competing factions vying for control of the casino.

No arrests were made at the scene, because the siege occurred on tribal land, but Madera County District Attorney Michael Keitz announced last Friday that 15 of the aggressors would be faced with severe felonies, including kidnapping, false imprisonment, attack having a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, and battery inflicting serious injury.

The group’s leader, Tex McDonald, 64, and council that is fellow Vernon James King, 59, turned themselves in on Monday, used several hours later on by two members associated with the security force that accompanied the group on the raid.

McDonald, whom has past beliefs for assault by having a deadly weapon and making criminal threats, is charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault with a firearm, attack with a lethal weapon, battery causing serious injury, and attack with a stun gun, and his bail has been set at $1 million. The others face similar charges, with bail set at $800,000 for each.

Another safety guard was arrested Sunday, but during the time of writing, 10 people remain at large.

Disenrollment Controversy

The origin of the dispute among the Picayune Ranchera of Chukchansi Indians appears to connect towards the practice that is controversial of,’ in which a tribe strips certain members of their tribal status, hence doubting them the associated advantages, in this case benefit from the casino.

Since 2003, hundreds of users are stripped of their tribal affiliations, including some of the last native speakers of the Chukchansi language. This led to a disputed election in 2012 and a schism within the tribe between people who supported disenrollment and those bitterly opposed.

It appears the McDonald faction was indeed managing the casino from the base at a business that is nearby up until August, if the rival faction, led by Reggie Lewis, a proponent of disenrollment and incumbent frontrunner of the council following the disputed election, occupied the 10th and 11th floors for the casino in the early hours of the early morning, efficiently taking it over.

Then in October, the Tribal Gaming Authority threatened to close the casino down and fine the tribe as much as $16 million, as a result of late filing of audits. This prompted the McDonald faction to act, in whatever they claim was an attempt to retrieve the audits and save the casino.

Criminal or Hero?

And to some, despite the criminality of his tactics, McDonald is really a hero, a ‘patriot’ fighting for the good associated with the tribe. ‘My clients went in to recover documents so that the casino wouldn’t power down,’ reported his attorney, adding that the faction represented the ‘duly constituted tribal council. They just took steps to protect the tribe.’

Other people, however, don’t see quite the exact same heroic strategies in the break-in.

‘Calling Tex McDonald a patriot is like calling a dictator democratically elected,’ said Richard Verri, representing the Lewis group. ‘ The unlawful justice system will determine whether or otherwise not the images caught on video of this unlawful actions while the violence he committed upon a casino employee had been legal or unlawful.’

Long lasting truth associated with matter, McDonald now faces a ‘significant amount of time’ in state jail, based on District Attorney Keitz. And meanwhile the casino remains shuttered by purchase of a judge that is federal with the consequence of lost revenue becoming devastating to the community.

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