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Mass. High Court Rules Voters Can Decide Gambling Question In November

A conceptual design of a proposed casino development by Mohegan Sun. (Suffolk Downs/AP)

A conceptual design of a proposed casino development by Mohegan Sun. (Suffolk Downs/AP)

The future of casino gambling in Massachusetts is uncertain — and now, even more so. The state’s highest court ruled Tuesday that a question seeking to repeal the state’s gambling law can, and should, be put to voters in November.

Anti-casino advocates, such as John Ribeiro of the group Repeal the Casino Deal, celebrated the ruling.

The ruling is a defeat for Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose office refused to certify the voter initiative last fall. It also throws significant uncertainty onto potential host cities who want jobs and tax receipts from casino gambling, and the estimated $1.7 billion in revenue that casino operators hope to reap from Massachusetts gaming.

Now it will be up to voters, and an expensive statewide campaign that’s about to gear up on both sides of the issue.

Guest

Mark Arsenault, metro reporter at The Boston Globe covering casinos. He tweets @BostonGlobeMark.

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WBUR: Mass. High Court: Voters To Decide Casino Issue

  • “The ruling overturned Attorney General Martha Coakley’s earlier finding that the proposed ballot question was unconstitutional because it would cause casino developers to lose property without compensation.”

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