Massachusetts court: Casino issue going to voters - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Massachusetts court: Casino issue going to voters

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BOSTON (WHDH) - Massachusetts' highest court says voters can decide the fate of the state's casino gambling law.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday that a question calling for repeal of the 2011 law can be on the November ballot.  

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

“I am pleased that the Supreme Judicial Court has ruled on this issue of great interest to voters in Massachusetts. I am pleased that they have made a decision that now lets this go to the ballot,” Coakley sad.

The law allows for up to three regional resort casinos and one slots parlor in Massachusetts.

The state gambling commission recently granted MGM Resorts International a license for a proposed $800 million casino in Springfield.

A group that has been trying to repeal the casino law has said they are glad they can continue their fight.

"This decision proves the people's voice matters and we’re happy that we will be able to take the casino industry on in the fall and have an open and honest debate," John Ribeiro, a spokesman for Repeal the Casino Deal, said.

The two remaining licenses have not yet been awarded, although Revere and Everett have both approved casinos in their towns. The slots parlor license has been awarded to the Plainridge harness track in Plainville.

Supporters of the Revere casino say they are disappointed with the ruling.

“I am unhappy about the decision. I think that a law is a law and this has already been voted on by the people,” Donna Mahoney said.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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