Casino repeal supporters vow to continue fighting - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Casino repeal supporters vow to continue fighting

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A group trying to repeal casino legislation in Massachusetts said they will continue fighting to get a question on the ballot in November.

Casino Repeal said Tuesday that they were turning in another petition with more than 26,000 signatures. They said the petition was required by the Secretary of State.

The group along with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is waiting for a decision by the Massachusetts State Supreme Judicial Court. The justices were deciding on whether a casino repeal question would appear on the ballot in November. A decision is expected in early July.

Activists said they have had to fight big money with their grassroots campaign. Steve Abdow said the group is gaining ground for their cause. He said they are confident the ruling from the SJC would be in their favor.

On Friday, the gaming commission agreed to award a license to MGM Resorts International for a casino in Springfield. The issuance of that award was pending the results of the SJC ruling.

Gaming Commission Chair Stephen Crosby said if the court shoots down the ballot question, the license would be issued immediately. If the question is allowed on the ballot and voters want to keep casino gambling, the license would be issued immediately following the vote count.

One group fighting for the casino said Casino Repeal is hampering progress. Jeff Ciuffreda, President of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce Greater Springfield said, "It is frustrating to watch the repeal effort play out, while Springfield is working hard to get back to work.  Downtown Springfield should have shovels in the ground as we speak. The people behind the repeal do not respect the voters of Springfield, and have no answers for our stressed economy and struggling workforce. The gaming act provided our city an opportunity, and we seized that opportunity. They are delaying our future and should not be allowed a do-over."

Abdow said if they didn't win the decision from the court, they would continue the fight to repeal casino gambling in the state.

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