SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Tuesday marked the six week countdown to Election Day. 22News found out how both sides of the casino campaign are boosting their efforts now to appeal to voters.
Casino supporters officially began campaigning Tuesday at the MGM Springfield headquarters. At the official kick-off, the focus of organizers, MGM officials and members of the Affiliated Chambers of Greater Springfield, who support the casino, was on the economic impact MGM would have on Greater Springfield.
“They’ve made a commitment to the business community to get a lot of their goods and services, up to 50 million dollars of their procurement per year, and so they’ve really incorporated the small businesses into their plan,” said Jeff Ciuffreda, President of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield.
22News also went to the Springfield headquarters for the Repeal the Casino Deal. They’re against the casino. Members told 22News they don’t trust that MGM will live up to its promise to create 3,000 jobs for residents in Western Massachusetts.
“Casinos basically are an economic vacuum that they suck the vitality out of an area. Small businesses will close, employees will be laid off and those are the facts,” said Mike Egan, a Repeal the Casino Deal member.
The wording of Question 3 on the ballot may be confusing to some voters. A “Yes” vote means no casinos in Massachusetts while a “No” vote essentially means yes to allowing casinos in our Commonwealth.
“If you look at the signs, Yes on 3 to fix the mess to stop casinos. We’re associating the two obviously and I think over the next few weeks, everybody’s going to understand that,” said Repeal the Casino Deal Western Massachusetts organizer Alan Cabot.
Meanwhile, Kelley Tucky, Vice President of Public Affairs for MGM said she’s just as confident casino supporters will be able to clarify the question’s wording to voters. “Door knocks, our phone calls, the events that we do in the community, we’ll make sure that message is explained. It’s almost like you want to say, ‘Vote no to say yes for jobs,” Tucky said.
Click here to read the full wording of Question 3 on the November 4 ballot.