Question 3 will decide fate of four Massachusetts casinos – Eagle-Tribune

Anti-gambling groups and residents worried about the social and financial impacts of casinos will have one last chance to repel them from the state at the Nov. 4 election. Votes will be cast even as three licenses already have been awarded and construction is either underway or poised to begin in several Massachusetts communities, including just north of Boston in Everett.

At the same time, gearing up for one final push to secure the future of casinos here are big-time casino operators, their political supporters, those counting on construction and service jobs from the mammoth facilities planned across the state, and people who have been waiting decades to experience resort-style gambling without leaving Massachusetts,

A “yes” vote on Question 3 would prohibit casinos, any gaming facility with slot machines and wagering on simulcast greyhound races. This would effectively nullify the 2011 law calling for three three regional casinos and one slots parlor in the state. It would also make Massachusetts the first state to reverse course after having approved casinos.

A “no” vote would make no changes to current laws regarding gaming, paving the way for casinos to begin opening as soon as next year.

Casino opponents say the venues bring crime and traffic, and seldom deliver on promised money for communities. Supporters say casinos will create good jobs and provide needed tax revenue.

To date, the Gambling Commission has granted MGM Resorts International a license to build a $800 million casino in Springfield; Penn National Gaming a license for a slot machine parlor at a Plainville racetrack; and approved a $1.6 billion proposal by Wynn Resorts for a Greater Boston facility in Everett. A third casino license, slated for southeastern Massachusetts, is expected to be awarded next year.

There are no casinos planned in the Merrimack Valley. The closest is developer Stephen Wynn’s …read more

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