BOSTON (AP) — A new political committee has formed to oppose a ballot question that would repeal Massachusetts’ 2011 casino law.
The Committee to Preserve Jobs Associated with Casino Gaming Law filed papers Wednesday with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance. The committee’s stated goal is to protect the estimated 10,000 jobs it said are associated with the construction and operation of casinos.
Opponents of the law, which allows Massachusetts to license up to three casinos and a single slots parlor, collected enough signatures to put the repeal question on the November ballot.
They have their own committee called Repeal the Casino Deal but could face a daunting fundraising challenge as they try to make their case to voters.
Under Massachusetts law, individuals and corporations including casino companies are allowed to give unlimited donations to ballot question committees.
Repeal the Casino Deal reported collecting more than $175,000 last year and ended 2013 with a balance of less than $8,000. Much of the money was spent on its signature-gathering efforts.
In its initial filing, the Committee to Preserve Jobs Associated with Casino Gaming Law reported no contributions.
The pro-casino ballot committee lists as its chairman and treasurer Boston attorney Thomas Kiley of the firm Cosgrove, Eisenberg & Kiley.
One of Kiley’s more high-profile clients was former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, convicted in 2011 of conspiracy, extortion and theft of honest services by fraud and a bribery charge. DiMasi was a strong opponent of casino gambling.