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Mass. AG: ‘Delighted’ Over ‘Thoughtful’ SJC Ballot Decision

BOSTON (WGGB) — The Mass. Supreme Judicial Court ruled this morning that a question calling for repeal of the 2011 law can be on the November ballot.

The ruling overturns Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley’s finding that the proposed ballot question is unconstitutional, because it would cause casino developers to lose property without compensation.

The expanded gaming legislation passed in 2011 allows for up to three regional resort casinos and one slots parlor in Massachusetts.

The state’s Gaming Commission recently granted MGM Resorts International a license for a proposed $800 million dollar casino in Springfield.

The two remaining licenses have not yet been awarded.

Tuesday afternoon, Coakley discussed her reaction to the SJC’s ruling.

“Well, we’re glad the decision was made. I’m delighted the SJC made a decision. It’s a long and thoughtful decision that says that this should go on the ballot. We always knew whatever decision our office had made, it would go on the ballot, so the signatures have been gathered and it’s clear that the signatures will go on the ballot and we’re working out to certify the question. So the discussion in Massachusetts has been lively about the benefits and about the people, passionate about what the detriments are continuing and I think it’s a healthy discussion for Massachusetts,” Coakley explains.

Coakley adds that the reason that she did not go with this initially was not because it was issue based, but because of legal based reasoning. She reiterates that she is happy that the legal process is being followed.

ABC40 asked if MGM or anyone else can file an appeal. Coakley does say that today’s ruling does leave open the opportunity for more court and legal battles.

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