(HOLYOKE, Mass.) (WGGB)– It didn’t take long for an opposition group to take action against casinos.
Massachusetts Governor Patrick signed the bill into law a week ago.
The group called Repeal the Casino Deal has filed a petition with the Secretary of State to place a referendum on the ballot next November.
The referendum would strike down the law to legalize casinos.
Among those who signed the petition was John Epstein of Holyoke,” The reason that I signed it is because casinos just do more harm than they do good,” says Epstein.
Developers have proposed three casinos in Western Massachusetts including one at the Wyckoff Country Club.
John Epstein worked to support the candidacy of Holyoke’s Mayor-Elect Alex Morse who opposed a Holyoke casino,”In Holyoke, when we did the campaign before the election the thing we really found out that was very interesting was that more people learned about it, the more people opposed it,” says Epstein.
Secretary of State William Galvin sent the petition to Attorney General Martha Coakley to determine if the casino law is exempt from a possible referendum.
If Coakley gives the green light for the repeal petition to go forward, then casino opponents would have to gather some 35-thousand signatures to place the question on the ballot.
John Epstein is confident the group would be able to muster those signatures,” We have a short time to do it in, I think we have less than 90 days, it will be a lot of work, it would require a lot of people on board, it would be the middle of winter, it’s going to be cold, it’s going to be hard work, but I think in the end it’s going to be worth it,” says Epstein.