Casino repeal referendum could impact FY15 budget

BOSTON (WWLP) – The State Supreme judicial Court decided that the 2011 casino law could be repealed through a vote on the November ballot.

“We made a call, that was our job to make a call, the court said we don’t agree with your call, that’s fine they’re the final referee in this, and now it’s decided,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.

And now, it is up to you, the voters to decide if MGM, or any casino, will open in Massachusetts. Casino opponents argue that bringing gambling to the state will threaten surrounding businesses, and increase crime and addiction.

“The idea that the benefits are going to spread to all the regions of the state, but all the negative impacts will be relegated to the single community just don’t hold water, and this decision proves that the people’s voice matters,” said Casino Repeal Committee Chairman John Ribeiro.

Casino supporters say it will create much needed jobs and generate approximately $50 million in new revenues. State Budget Committee members already included the MGM revenues in drafts of  the fiscal 2015 budget due on July 1.

“Both the House and the Senate booked that one license for a destination resort casino would be in effect for fiscal year 2015, bringing in approximately $50 million so should casinos be repealed, we would go back and make budgetary adjustments,” said Senate Ways and Means Chairman Senator Stephen Brewer (D-Barre).

He said the Budget Committee will account for the loss in revenue if voters decide not to bring a casino to Massachusetts.

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