Anti-casino advocates beginning campaign

Meeting held Wednesday at Christ Church Cathedral

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As November approaches, get ready to be flooded with messages from people on both sides of the casino issue.

Anti-casino groups officially launched their campaign today in Springfield, where they worked to get the casino question on the November ballot. Now that it’s there, casino repeal organizers are planning for what they hope is another victory.

Representatives from different repeal groups met at the Christ Church Cathedral in Springfield this afternoon to talk about their game plan going forward. They want residents to vote YES in November to repeal the casino law. The group’s statewide campaign manager says he’s confident their message will resonate with voters because it’s coming from their neighbors, not a big company.

“When we counter that message with a message that’s coming from within our communities, when people hear from their neighbors, their friends and their coworkers, in the end I think that message will carry much more weight and in the end will prevail,” Darek Barcikowski told 22News.

The group acknowledged they will be outspent by casino companies.

MGM Springfield spokesman Carole Brennan gave 22News the following statement regarding today’s event:

“A year ago today, every ward and every neighborhood in Springfield voted to anchor the city’s renaissance with a downtown casino resort that would create thousands of good jobs, and new areas of commerce where they are needed most.  MGM Springfield has always believed in Springfield’s right to choose its path forward.  And we believe the voters of the Commonwealth want to support this Gateway city’s comeback story as much as we do.  A No vote of Question 3 will stop millions of tax dollars from flowing to neighboring states, and respect certified votes.”

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