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Holyoke City Council Decides to put Casino Ballot Question before Residents

VoteHOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) —  Holyoke residents will likely get the chance to vote on whether or not they want to see a casino in their city, despite the fact that one is not currently proposed there.

According to City Councilor Anthony Soto, while it wasn’t a unanimous vote, they did decide in favor tonight of placing a non-binding ballot question before residents that would ask a yes or no question on allowing a casino in Holyoke.

“Allow the people to vote. If the people want it let them speak and say we want it. If they don’t want it, it will set it to rest, but allow the people to vote,” says Soto.

He adds that Mayor Morse has the right to veto their decision if he chooses, but then they would have the opportunity to override his veto.

Morse currently does not want a casino in the city.

A number of residents who attended the meeting did speak up about the non-binding ballot question vote both in support and non-support.

While no casino developer is proposing a venue in the city of Holyoke at this time, it could still happen before the casino competition ends.  Any one of the 11 casino developers, who submitted their non-refundable $400,000 application fee to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, can change their proposal location if they choose.

In other words, the application does not bind them to the locations they have currently chosen, it just gives them the ability to stay in the casino race.

No decision has been made yet on when the non-binding ballot question will be put before voters.



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