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Opponents to Continue Push for Casino Repeal

Casino Lobby

BOSTON (WGGB) — Casino opponents say that their work continues to halt casinos in Massachusetts.

Tuesday morning, the state’s highest court ruled that a question asking voters if they want to repeal casinos can appear on the November ballot.

The push for that question came from many across Massachusetts who opposed casinos in the Bay State.

In a statement released shortly after the Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling, one casino opposition group, Repeal The Casino Deal, says that now the decision has been made, they will now continue campaigning for their position and work to get voters to the polls.

Casino repeal chairman John Ribeiro said in a statement, “While this ruling marks a huge hurdle now cleared, it’s also the firing of the starting gun in this incredibly important campaign. We know Massachusetts can do better than this casino mess. We’re elated at the opportunity to continue sharing the truth about casinos and the harm they would bring to our communities. Now’s the time to dig our heels in and spread our message.”

Mike Kogut, President of Citizens Against Casino Gaming, says he is more than thrilled with the SJC’s decision, telling ABC40 that it’s epic and historical, but now it’s time to work. His group’s job will be continuing to push even harder to educate the public, and that last summer, he felt citizens weren’t ready, but this summer, they will be pushing hard to share all they can with voters.

“We want to do what we can do in Springfield. As you know, MGM spent over $10 million in the July vote, Sarno forced vote mid-summer, people weren’t prepared. Now they’ll be prepared and educated and we believe we will prevail,” Kogut explains.

Kogut told me he feels Mayor Sarno is gambling the future of the city on this casino.

Steve Abdow, who originally filed suit with the SJC as to if the casino should be on the November Ballot, says this is the beginning of a new chapter.

“I was very relieved, excited, elated, this starts the new phase of when we start to educate voters, about the concern’s people rightfully should have about casinos.”

Abdow stressed the issue is larger than a few communities because it effects the entire state of Massachusetts. He believes when the people see the statistics on the negative impacts casinos have on communities socially and economically, they will be opposed.

“The process has been very flawed it’s just not working, it’s like not getting a message this is just not working, and we want people to learn about that and make up their own minds.”

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