Massachusetts Pro-Casino Referendum Takes the afternoon



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

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

Somewhat confusingly, ‘no’ meant ‘yes’ for casinos on this ballot, as voters were asked if the statutory legislation must certanly be repealed, with 59.5 per cent to 40.5 percent deciding that no, it will never be repealed, meaning that yes, they wanted gambling enterprises.

Some commentators have actually suggested that the language used in posing the relevant question was deliberately muddled and designed to confuse.

Nevertheless, it’s a victory for MGM and Wynn Resorts, who may have had their respective jobs provided the greenlight by regulators and who can now finally and definitely go forward with the certification process, a privilege which is why they will fork out $85 million a piece before a cornerstone that is single set.

Not surprisingly, casino executives were jubilant and anxious to emphasize just what the casinos will do for their future communities.

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

The Following Big Step

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

Wynn Resorts, meanwhile, which fought a protracted bidding war with Mohegan Sun for the proper to make an application for the sole eastern Massachusetts license, the right it had been granted only 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 spend 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 ever in Doubt?

The third license was secured earlier in the day in the year by Penn National Gaming, which quickly moved ahead along with its intends to expand Plainridge Park harness racetrack as a slots parlor, despite knowing there was a chance that the bill could possibly be repealed.

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

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

Based on campaign that is recent reports, ‘no’ (meaning yes) vote campaigners had raised nearly $12 million, most of it donated by casino companies, while the ‘yes’ meaning no vote was able 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 reason that the pro-casino effort ended up being able to invest $2 million on casino marketing in October alone, at a period whenever its opponents were 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 beat of the casino repeal effort in Massachusetts. (Image: Barry Chin/Globe Staff)

Election 2014 didn’t feature a referendum on Internet gambling, nor did anything earth-shattering occur that will forever change the gaming landscape in the United States day.

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

That big story, while you might have guessed, had been the Republican takeover of the Senate.

While benefits (including a runoff election and a decision by Independent Senator Angus King on which party to caucus with) will not be known for some time, the GOP has clinched at the least 52 seats in the Senate, one significantly more than ended up being required in order to take the majority.

Republican Majority and On Line Poker

While this shouldn’t incite panic among those whom enjoy online gambling, the Republican majorities in both houses are well worth keeping track of. Thanks to a plank into the national Republican platform and the support of nevada Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, the most vocal voices opposed to online gambling tend to come through the GOP. The majority that is new lead supporters of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act to try to 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, and also many of those that are might not think the issue is well worth fighting over, as it really is hardly an important consideration among the public that is general. While those in support of a ban could probably court support that is enough democratic offset the losses in their own party, that is far from specific, and the possibility of a split within the GOP on the issue could be enough to stop it from ever gaining any energy.

Massachusetts Casino Repeal Defeated Handily

In more results that are local there were two ballot initiatives of interest to the gaming industry, one on each coast. Regarding 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 gambling enterprises in the state, along with a slots parlor. As current 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 populace that was against their efforts had made their voices heard.

‘ We understand that approximately 41 percent voted in favor of the ballot initiative [meaning for the repeal], and it is our job to keep to earn the confidence of all 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 will have permitted the North Fork Rancheria Band of Mono Indians to build a major casino about 40 miles far from their reservation. Had the proposition passed, opponents said it might have set a precedent tribes that are allowing 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 video gaming,’ said Cheryl Schmit, director of Stand Up for California, friends opposing the proposition.

Some gubernatorial events may also have an impact on the future of both land-based and gambling that is online various states. Perhaps most notably, the re-election of Florida governor Rick Scott in a race that is tight Democratic challenger Charlie Crist was regarded as a poor sign for on line gambling within the state, as Scott has become a supporter of Adelson’s efforts to ban Web gambling.

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

Tex McDonald, leader of the group that stormed the Chukchansi casino final thirty days, turns himself in. (Image: fresnobee.com)

Two council that is tribal faced with serious offenses relating to final month’s armed standoff during the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino near Coarsegold, California have turned themselves in. The casino ended up being stormed by 20 armed men on October 9, the culmination of a power that is bizarre between rival factions vying for control of the casino.

No arrests were made at the scene, as the siege took place on tribal land, but Madera County District Attorney Michael Keitz announced last Friday that 15 of the aggressors would be faced with serious felonies, including kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault by having a firearm, assault with a life-threatening 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, followed several hours later on by two members of this security force that accompanied the group on the raid.

McDonald, who has previous beliefs for assault having a weapon that is deadly making criminal threats, is charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault with a firearm, attack with a deadly weapon, battery causing serious injury, and assault 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 security 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, thus doubting them the associated advantages, in this situation make money from the casino.

Since 2003, hundreds of users were stripped of their affiliations that are tribal including a number of the last native speakers of the Chukchansi language. This led up to a election that is disputed 2012 and a schism inside the tribe between those that supported disenrollment and those bitterly opposed.

This indicates the McDonald faction was in fact managing the casino from the base at a business that is nearby up until August, whenever rival faction, led by Reggie Lewis, a proponent of disenrollment and incumbent leader of the council following the disputed election, occupied the 10th and 11th floors associated with casino in the very early hours of the early morning, effortlessly taking it over.

Then in October, the Tribal Gaming Authority threatened to close the casino down and fine the tribe up to $16 million, because of late filing of audits. This prompted the McDonald faction to act, in what 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 a hero, a ‘patriot’ fighting for the nice associated with the tribe. ‘My clients went in to recover documents therefore the casino would not shut down,’ stated his lawyer, adding that the faction represented the ‘duly constituted council that is tribal. They just took steps to protect the tribe.’

Others, however, don’t see quite exactly the same heroic techniques in the break-in.

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

Whatever the truth associated with the matter, McDonald now faces a ‘significant amount of the time’ in state prison, 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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