Massachusetts Pro-Casino Referendum Takes the afternoon


Massachusetts Pro-Casino Referendum Takes the afternoon

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

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confusingly, ‘no’ meant ‘yes’ for casinos on this ballot, as voters were asked whether or not the statutory law is repealed, with 59.5 % to 40.5 percent deciding that no, it should never be repealed, meaning that yes, they wanted gambling enterprises.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 is a victory for MGM and Wynn Resorts, who have had their respective tasks given the greenlight by regulators and who can now finally and definitely go forward with the licensing procedure, a privilege which is why they will fork out $85 million a bit before a cornerstone that is single set.

Not surprisingly, casino executives had been jubilant and anxious to emphasize just 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 understood precisely what was at stake and worked so hard to bring this historic opportunity to realization for themselves and their neighbors … we can now begin the job of rebuilding a great downtown, and igniting a renaissance in Western Massachusetts.’

The Next Big Step

MGM now plans to build an $800 million casino resort on a plot that is 14.5-acre downtown Springfield, with construction likely to begin into the springtime and a planned opening in summer time of 2017.

Wynn Resorts, meanwhile, which fought a protracted bidding war with Mohegan Sun for the best to apply for the only real east Massachusetts license, the right it absolutely was granted only in early September, will go ahead featuring its plans to build a $1.6 billion casino for 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.

‘While it is a long procedure, the benefits to everyone in the Commonwealth will be worth it,’ said Wynn Resorts Senior Vice President Robert DeSalvio.

Never ever in Doubt?

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Park harness racetrack into a slots parlor, despite knowing there is a chance that the bill could possibly be repealed.

‘It’s a risk, but it’s a risk that is calculated’ said Jay Snowden, Penn National’s chief operating officer, several months straight back. ‘We’re confident we’ll prevail in November.’

And he had been right, however the issue had been perhaps hardly ever 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 consistently in the polls.

Based on recent campaign finance 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 in a position to raise simply $675,000.

MGM donated $2.5 million and Wynn Resorts $1 million, while Penn National topped the bill with $3.2 million. This had been the explanation that the pro-casino effort ended up being able to spend $2 million on casino marketing in October alone, at an occasion 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 a 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 number of regional results that were of interest to those who worry about gambling issues, and one overarching storyline which could contour the movement for the debate over online gambling for the following two years.

That big story, while you may have guessed, ended up being the Republican takeover of the Senate.

While results (including a runoff election and a determination 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 in the Senate, one a lot more than had been needed in order to simply take the majority.

Republican Majority and Online Poker

While this shouldn’t incite panic among those who enjoy online gambling, the Republican majorities in both houses are worth keeping an eye on. Thanks to a plank into the national platform that is republican the support of Las vegas, nevada Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, the most vocal voices in opposition 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, and even many of those that are may well not think the issue is worth fighting over, as it’s hardly a major consideration among the list of public that is general. While those and only a ban could probably court sufficient Democratic support to offset the losses in their own party, that’s far from specific, and the possibility of a split within the GOP in the issue may be enough to end it from ever gaining any momentum.

Massachusetts Casino Repeal Defeated Handily

Much more results that are local there have been two ballot initiatives of interest to the gaming industry, one on each coast. Regarding the East Coast, perhaps the highest-profile gambling battle of the 12 months happened 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 their state, along with a slots parlor. As recent 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 was against their efforts had made their sounds heard.

‘ We realize that approximately 41 percent voted in favor of the ballot initiative [meaning for the repeal], and it is our job to keep to make 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 allowed the North Fork Rancheria Band of Mono Indians to build a major casino about 40 kilometers far from their reservation. Had the proposition passed, opponents stated it could have set a precedent tribes that are allowing build gaming facilities far beyond their lands.

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

Some gubernatorial events may 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 bad sign for on line gambling within the state, as Scott is a huge supporter of Adelson’s efforts to ban online gambling.

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

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

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 the bizarre power struggle between rival factions vying for control of the casino.

No arrests had been 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 severe felonies, including kidnapping, false imprisonment, attack with 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 on their own in on Monday, implemented several hours later by two members regarding the security force that accompanied the group in the raid.

McDonald, whom has past convictions for assault having a deadly weapon and making criminal threats, is charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault with a firearm, attack with a life-threatening weapon, battery causing serious injury, and attack with a stun gun, and his bail has been set at $1 million. The other people 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 seems to relate to the practice that is controversial of,’ in which a tribe strips certain members of their tribal status, therefore doubting them the associated advantages, in this instance profit from the casino.

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

This indicates the McDonald faction was managing the casino from the base at a nearby business complex up until August, when the rival faction, led by Reggie Lewis, a proponent of disenrollment and incumbent leader of the council after the disputed election, occupied the tenth and 11th floors for the casino in the early hours of the morning, effectively taking it over.

Then in October, the Tribal Gaming Authority threatened to close the casino down and fine the tribe up to $16 million, as a result 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?

Also to some, despite the criminality of his tactics, McDonald is just a hero, a ‘patriot’ fighting for the nice regarding the tribe. ‘My clients went in to recover documents and so the casino wouldn’t shut down,’ advertised his lawyer, adding that the faction represented the ‘duly constituted council that is tribal. They just took steps to protect the tribe.’

Other people, however, don’t see quite the 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 see whether or not the images caught on video for the illegal actions plus the violence he committed upon a casino employee ended up being legal or unlawful.’

Whatever the truth regarding the matter, McDonald now faces a ‘significant amount of time’ in state prison, in accordance with District Attorney Keitz. And meanwhile the casino remains shuttered by order of a federal judge, with the consequence of lost revenue becoming devastating to the community.

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