Massachusetts Pro-Casino Referendum Takes the Day

Massachusetts Pro-Casino Referendum Takes the Day

Ah, sweet victory: Steve Wynn’s Everett, Massachusetts casino can finally progress after having a referendum vote supporting casinos passed night that is last.

Residents of Massachusetts have selected to uphold the state’s three-year-old casino law, voting overwhelmingly in yesterday’s midterms in favor of maintaining the fledgling casino market, because the polls had predicted.

Somewhat confusingly, ‘no’ meant ‘yes’ for casinos on this ballot, as voters were asked if the statutory law must be repealed, with 59.5 percent to 40.5 percent deciding that no, it should never be repealed, meaning that yes, they desired gambling enterprises.

Some commentators have recommended that the language used in posing the question was deliberately muddled and created to confuse.

Nonetheless, it is a victory for MGM and Wynn Resorts, who have had their respective tasks offered the greenlight by regulators and who can now finally and definitely go forward with the licensing process, a privilege for which they will fork out $85 million a piece before a single cornerstone is set.

Not surprisingly, casino executives had been jubilant and anxious to emphasize exactly what the casinos will do for their future communities.

‘Voters across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts today voiced their support of the 10,000 permanent job opportunities and significant financial benefits supplied by the Gaming Act of 2011,’ said pleased MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren. ‘MGM Resorts International would like to thank the thousands of volunteers and supporters who comprehended just what is at stake and worked so hard to bring this historic opportunity to realization for themselves and their neighbors … we are now able to begin the task of rebuilding a great downtown, and igniting a renaissance in Western Massachusetts.’

The Following Big Step

MGM now plans to construct an $800 million casino resort on a 14.5-acre plot in downtown Springfield, with construction likely to begin within the springtime and a planned opening in summer time of 2017.

Wynn Resorts, meanwhile, which fought a protracted bidding war with Mohegan Sun for the proper to make an application for the sole east Massachusetts license, a right it had been granted just in early September, will get ahead having its plans to create a $1.6 billion casino on a contaminated former chemical plant in Everett, north of Boston. Wynn will pay millions to own the site cleaned up and decontaminated before construction ensues.

‘it,’ said Wynn Resorts Senior Vice President Robert DeSalvio while it has been a long process, the benefits to everyone in the Commonwealth will be worth.

Never ever in Doubt?

The license that is third secured earlier in the year by Penn National Gaming, which quickly moved ahead using its intends to expand Plainridge Park harness racetrack into a slots parlor, despite knowing there is a chance that the bill could be repealed.

‘It’s a risk, however it’s a risk that is calculated’ said Jay Snowden, Penn National’s chief operating officer, many months back. ‘We’re confident we are going to prevail in november’

And he had been right, however the issue ended up being perhaps never really in doubt. While the Repeal the Deal contingent was vocal, it lacked the funding of its powerful opponents, and the vote that is pro-casino led consistently in the polls.

Based on campaign that is recent reports, ‘no’ (meaning yes) vote campaigners had raised nearly $12 million, most of it donated by casino companies, while the ‘yes’ meaning no vote was in a position to raise simply $675,000.

MGM donated $2.5 million and Wynn Resorts $1 million, while Penn National topped the bill with $3.2 million. This ended up being the reason that the effort that is pro-casino able to spend $2 million on casino marketing in October alone, at an occasion whenever its opponents had been a declaring a balance of $30,000 and debts of $400,000.

Nationwide Election Results May Affect US Online Gambling

Supporters of a Wynn casino in Everett celebrated the beat of the casino repeal effort in Massachusetts. (Image: Barry Chin/Globe Staff)

Election Day 2014 did not feature a referendum on Internet gambling, nor did anything earth-shattering occur that will forever change the video gaming landscape in the usa.

Still, there were a true number of neighborhood results that were of interest to people who worry about gambling problems, and one overarching storyline that may contour the movement for the debate over online gambling for the following two years.

That big story, while you could have guessed, ended up being the Republican takeover of the Senate.

The GOP has clinched at least 52 seats in the Senate, one more than was needed in order to take the majority while final results (including a runoff election and a decision by Independent Senator Angus King on which party to caucus with) won’t be known for some time.

Republican Majority and Online Poker

While this shouldn’t incite panic among those whom enjoy online gambling, the Republican majorities in both houses are well worth keeping track of. Thanks to a plank into the national platform that is republican the support of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, the absolute most vocal voices opposed to online gambling tend in the future through the GOP. The new majority could lead supporters of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act to attempt to advance the bill in Congress.

However, the chances of such a bill passing are still rather slim. Not everyone in the Republican Party is in favor of an online gambling ban, and even many of those which are cannot think the problem is well worth fighting over, as it is hardly a significant consideration one of the public that is general. While those in support of a ban could probably court enough Democratic support to offset the losses in their own party, that’s far from particular, and the possibility of a split within the GOP on the issue could be enough to end it from ever gaining any momentum.

Massachusetts Casino Repeal Defeated Handily

Much more local results, there were two ballot initiatives of interest to the gaming industry, one on each coast. In the East Coast, perhaps the gambling that is highest-profile of the 12 months took place in Massachusetts, where anti-casino activists were hoping to repeal a law that allowed for the licensing and building of three resort casinos in the state, along with a slots parlor. As recent polling suggested, the anti-casino forces came up well short, with 59 percent voting ‘No’ on the repeal.

Still, state officials acknowledged that the portion that is significant of population that had been against their efforts had made their voices heard.

‘ We realize that approximately 41 percent voted in favor of the ballot initiative [meaning for the repeal], and it is our job to continue to earn the confidence of all the social people in Massachusetts proponents and opponents alike,’ said Steve Crosby, chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Meanwhile, voters in California rejected Proposition 48, a measure that would have allowed the North Fork Rancheria Band of Mono Indians to create a casino that is major 40 miles away from their reservation. Had the proposition passed, opponents stated it could have set a precedent tribes that are allowing build gaming facilities far beyond their lands.

‘This vote no puts the ball squarely in the state Legislature’s court: they now can make a policy that is consistent tribal video gaming,’ stated Cheryl Schmit, director of remain true for California, an organization opposing the proposition.

Some gubernatorial events may also provide an impact on the future of both land-based and gambling that is online various states. Perhaps many notably, the re-election of Florida governor Rick Scott in a tight race over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist was seen as a poor sign for online gambling within the state, as Scott is a huge supporter of Adelson’s efforts to ban Internet gambling.

Chukchansi Gold Casino Tribal Leaders Turn Themselves In After Break-In

Tex McDonald, leader of the group that stormed the Chukchansi casino final month, turns himself in. (Image: fresnobee.com)

Two council that is tribal charged with serious offenses relating to last month’s armed standoff at the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino near Coarsegold, California have turned themselves in. The casino had been stormed by 20 platinum quick hits slot armed men on October 9, the culmination of the bizarre power struggle between competing factions vying for control of the casino.

No arrests were made at the scene, because the siege took place on tribal land, but Madera County District Attorney Michael Keitz announced last Friday that 15 of the aggressors would be faced with severe felonies, including kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault having a firearm, attack with a deadly weapon, and battery inflicting serious injury.

The group’s leader, Tex McDonald, 64, and council that is fellow Vernon James King, 59, turned on their own in on Monday, accompanied several hours later on by two members of this security force that accompanied the group on the raid.

McDonald, who has previous convictions for assault having a weapon that is deadly making criminal threats, is charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, battery causing severe injury, and assault with a stun gun, and his bail has been set at $1 million. The others face similar charges, with bail set at $800,000 for each.

Another safety guard was arrested Sunday, but during the time of writing, 10 people remain at large.

Disenrollment Controversy

The origin of the dispute among the Picayune Ranchera of Chukchansi Indians appears to connect towards the practice that is controversial of,’ when a tribe strips certain members of their tribal status, thus denying them the associated benefits, in this instance benefit from the casino.

Since 2003, hundreds of people have been stripped of their affiliations that are tribal including a number of the last native speakers of the Chukchansi language. This led up to a election that is disputed 2012 and a schism inside the tribe between those who supported disenrollment and those bitterly opposed.

This indicates the McDonald faction have been managing the casino from its base at a nearby business complex up to August, if the rival faction, led by Reggie Lewis, a proponent of disenrollment and incumbent leader of the council after the disputed election, occupied the 10th and 11th floors for the casino into the very early hours of the morning, effectively taking it over.

Then in October, the Tribal Gaming Authority threatened to close the casino down and fine the tribe as much as $16 million, because of filing that is late of. This prompted the McDonald faction to work, in whatever they claim was an attempt to retrieve the audits and save the casino.

Criminal or Hero?

And to some, despite the criminality of his tactics, McDonald is a hero, a ‘patriot’ fighting for the good associated with tribe. ‘My clients went in to recover documents therefore the casino wouldn’t shut down,’ claimed his lawyer, adding that the faction represented the ‘duly constituted tribal council. They simply took steps to protect the tribe.’

Others, however, don’t see quite the exact same heroic strategies in the break-in.

‘Calling Tex McDonald a patriot is like calling a dictator democratically elected,’ said Richard Verri, representing the Lewis group. ‘ The criminal justice system will determine whether or perhaps not the images caught on video for the illegal actions therefore the violence he committed upon a casino employee was legal or criminal.’

Regardless of the truth associated with matter, McDonald now faces a ‘significant amount of time’ in state prison, based on District Attorney Keitz. And meanwhile the casino remains shuttered by order of the judge that is federal with the consequence of lost revenue becoming devastating to the community.