SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The state’s highest court heard arguments Monday on why a ballot question to possibly repeal the casino law should be on the November ballot.
MGM Springfield got approval from Springfield voters last summer and passed the state background check. However, a decision by the state’s highest court could contribute to a process that could keep a casino from opening in Massachusetts.
Chairman of Repeal the Casino Deal, John Ribeiro, told 22News, “We all acknowledge there are going to be negative impacts. It’s just time for us to all have a say on this.”
The Supreme Judicial Court in Boston heard arguments Monday, why voters should have a chance in November to cancel the casino law. Some people told 22News the casino process has gone too far to turn back.
Gov. Deval Patrick signed the Expanded Gaming Act into law in 2011. Three years later, the Mass. Gaming Commission has already awarded one slots license. Here in Springfield, MGM is the only applicant for the western Mass. resort casino license.
Bob Hillger of Newburyport, and works in Amherst, told 22News, “I do believe everybody has a right to vote, so that’s a quandary, but we need the work; people need the work, and so if there’s a lot of money already put into this, a lot of leveraging, I think we should continue.”
Some don’t believe a casino will have any direct impact on them. Kelly Jones lives in the Franklin County town of Warwick. She said, “I do not know how I would vote because I really don’t have information, and I don’t have a strong opinion about it.”
Seven justices have until early July to file an opinion on the repeal question, but the Gaming Commission could announce its license decision for MGM some time before mid-June.