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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 move ahead after a referendum vote supporting casinos passed away 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, while the polls had predicted.

Somewhat confusingly, ‘no’ meant ‘yes’ for casinos on this ballot, as voters were asked whether or not the statutory law must be repealed, with 59.5 % to 40.5 percent deciding that no, it should never be repealed, meaning that yes, they wanted gambling enterprises.

Some commentators have actually suggested that the language used in posing the relevant question was deliberately muddled and designed to confuse.

However, it’s a victory for MGM and Wynn Resorts, who have had their respective jobs provided the greenlight by regulators and who can now finally and definitely move forward with the certification process, a privilege which is why they will fork out $85 million an item before a single cornerstone is laid.

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 job that is permanent and significant financial benefits given 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 understood just what is at stake and worked so difficult to bring this historic opportunity to realization we can now start the task of rebuilding outstanding downtown, and igniting a renaissance in Western Massachusetts. for themselves and their neighbors …’

The Next Big Step

MGM now plans to build an $800 million casino resort on a plot that is 14.5-acre downtown Springfield, with construction likely to begin into the springtime and a scheduled opening in the summer of 2017.

Wynn Resorts, meanwhile, which fought a bidding that is protracted with Mohegan Sun for the best to apply for the only east Massachusetts license, the right it was granted only in early September, will go ahead along with 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 in Doubt?

The third license was secured earlier within the year by Penn National Gaming, which quickly moved ahead having its plans to expand Plainridge Park harness racetrack as a slots parlor, despite knowing there was a chance that the bill could be repealed.

‘It’s a risk, nonetheless it’s a risk that is calculated’ said Jay Snowden, Penn National’s chief operating officer, several months straight back. ‘We’re confident we’ll prevail in November.’

And he was right, nevertheless the presssing issue was 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 slotsforfun-ca.com is recent reports, ‘no’ (meaning yes) vote campaigners had raised nearly $12 million, most of it donated by casino businesses, while the ‘yes’ meaning no vote was able 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 had been the reason that the effort that is pro-casino able to invest $2 million on casino marketing in October alone, at an occasion when 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 defeat of the casino repeal effort in Massachusetts. (Image: Barry Chin/Globe Staff)

Election Day 2014 didn’t feature a referendum on Internet gambling, nor did anything earth-shattering occur that will forever replace the video gaming landscape in the us.

Still, there were number of neighborhood results that were of interest to those who worry about gambling issues, and one overarching storyline that could shape the motion of the debate over online gambling for the following two years.

That big story, as you may have guessed, had been 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

The Republican majorities in both houses are worth keeping an eye on while this shouldn’t incite panic among those who enjoy online gambling. Thanks to a plank into the national Republican platform and the support of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, the most vocal voices in opposition to online gambling tend to come through the GOP. The new majority could lead supporters of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act to try to advance the bill in Congress.

However, the odds 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 that are might not think the issue is well worth fighting over, as its hardly an important consideration among the general public. While those in favor of a ban could probably court support that is enough democratic offset the losses inside their own party, that’s far from particular, and the possibility of a split within the GOP in the issue could be enough to end it from ever gaining any momentum.

Massachusetts Casino Repeal Defeated Handily

In more local results, there were two ballot initiatives of great 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 hawaii, along with a slots parlor. As current polling suggested, the anti-casino forces came up well short, with 59 percent voting ‘No’ on the repeal.

Still, state officials acknowledged that the significant portion of the populace that had been against their efforts had made their sounds heard.

‘ We realize that approximately 41 percent voted in favor of the ballot effort [meaning for the repeal], and it’s also our job to continue to earn the self-confidence of all of the the 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 could have permitted the North Fork Rancheria Band of Mono Indians to construct a casino that is major 40 miles far 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 gaming,’ stated Cheryl Schmit, director of operate for California, a group opposing the proposition.

Some gubernatorial races may likewise have an effect on the future of both land-based and online gambling in various states. Perhaps most notably, the re-election of Florida governor Rick Scott in a tight race over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist was viewed as a bad sign for online gambling within the state, as Scott is a 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 tribal council members faced with serious offenses relating to final month’s armed standoff during the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino near Coarsegold, California have turned themselves in. The casino ended up being stormed by 20 armed men on October 9, the culmination of the strange power struggle between rival factions vying for control of the casino.

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

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

McDonald, whom has past beliefs for assault by having a deadly weapon and making criminal threats, is charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault having a firearm, attack with a lethal weapon, battery causing serious injury, and assault with a stun gun, and his bail has been set at $1 million. The other people face similar fees, with bail set at $800,000 for each.

Another security 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 seems to connect to the practice that is controversial of,’ where a tribe strips certain members of their tribal status, hence denying them the associated advantages, in this situation make money from the casino.

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

This indicates the McDonald faction have been managing the casino from the base at a nearby business complex up until August, once 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 associated with the casino within the early hours of the early morning, efficiently 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, as a result of late filing of audits. This prompted the McDonald faction to act, in whatever they claim was an attempt to retrieve the audits and save the casino.

Criminal or Hero?

Also to some, despite the criminality of his tactics, McDonald is really a hero, a ‘patriot’ fighting for the nice for the tribe. ‘My clients went in to recover papers so the casino wouldn’t shut down,’ reported 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 exactly the same tactics that are heroic the break-in.

‘Calling Tex McDonald a patriot is like calling a dictator democratically elected,’ said Richard Verri, representing the Lewis group. ‘ The unlawful justice system will see whether or otherwise not the images caught on video associated with illegal actions and also the violence he committed upon a casino employee ended up being legal or criminal.’

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

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