Watch ABC40 News Live!   (View)

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.”

WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.

  • john tyrell

    If someone in another part of the State can Vote on a decision in Springfield…..I should be allowed to Vote on a decision in their City. And can they tell ME WHAT THEIR PLAN is…..Jobs,Taxes Urban Renewal and Interest Structure Repairs??????

    • Doggone

      It’s not about Springfield, it’s about the whole state. Don’t be mislead by the promises of our politicians, who high stakes with these casinos. It’s the wrong move for our State and it should be repealed for the good of all the people, not just an entitled few. J

      • TBonePickens

        Can anybody name a casino that has done good for the community somewhere in the US?

      • john tyrell

        The State already put $480million that was coming from Casino’s in the Budget. Now they have to CUT…..GOOD ….CUT,and the poor are going to be the ones that suffer.

    • mother person

      I agree, also I keep saying to the casino opponents, if gambling is wrong then make sure that you close the bingo halls and the lottery, you can’t have it both ways. Either its ALL OK or none, you can’t say this gambling is OK but this other type is wrong.

  • anticraze

    MGM and all their cheerleaders should try to fix the crime rate and heroin problems in spfld before they think of building anything. We all complain of the crime and violence in the city. but at the same time we want to build a casino? We need to fix some issues before we run right into other problems later.

  • John Winston

    Good job anti-casino people. Please continue to save our state. Sarno should put his attention to making his city safe and then real businesses might come.