Chamber of Commerce leader “frustrated” with casino vote ruling

Says casino foes have no solutions for Springfield area

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The head of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield says that those behind the effort to repeal casino gambling are not respecting the decision of Springfield voters.

In a statement sent to 22News Wednesday morning, Jeffrey Ciuffreda said that local business leaders had been working alongside MGM for two years in an effort to bring more jobs to our area. He said that opponents of casino gambling do not have any solutions to help revitalize the local economy, and expressed disappointment with the state Supreme Judicial Court’s decision to allow a repeal of the state’s 2011 casino law onto the November ballot.

“Yesterday was a very frustrating day for the Greater Springfield business community,” Ciuffreda said.

“The gaming act provided our city an opportunity and we seized that opportunity. Now our economic fate is in the hands of voters all across the Commonwealth, and we intend to let those voters know all of the good and all the benefits that we and Springfield voters see for the city, region, and state in this proposal.”

Ciuffreda said that those advocating the repeal are not taking into consideration the wishes of the people of Springfield, who approved MGM’s proposal in a referendum vote last July.

Residents of Plainville, Revere, and Everett have also approved casino or slots parlor proposals in their communities, while voters in West Springfield, Palmer, and Milford rejected plans for casinos there. Opponents of casino gaming say that casinos will impact all of Massachusetts, and all state residents should have a say in whether casinos will be allowed.

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