MA Supreme Court OK's casino repeal vote

06:42 AM 25 Jun 2014 NZST
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Massachusetts State House, harness racing
Massachusetts State House

BOSTON -- Penn National, which was awarded a license earlier this year to install slot machines at Plainridge Racecourse, expressed disappointment in the Massachussets Supreme Judicial Court's decision today to allow a casino repeal question on the November ballot, but said it was confident that voters would preserve the law.

"While we are disappointed by today's decision, we remain confident that Massachusetts voters will want to protect the thousands of new jobs and the hundreds of millions in annual tax revenues that our new industry will generate, in addition to recapturing over $1 billion being wagered by Mass residents in neighboring states each year," Eric Schippers, senior vice president of governmennt affairs at Penn National, said in a statement.

"Our fight to protect jobs and preserve this economic development opportunity for Massachusetts begins today.

Construction on the Plainridge Park Casino remains full steam ahead and we continue to anticipate a June 2015 opening."

Massachusetts’ highest court this morning cleared the way for a repeal of the state casino law to appear on the November ballot, setting up a fierce referendum campaign for the fall and placing the fate of the state’s nascent gambling industry into the hands of the people.

“We conclude that the Attorney General erred in declining to certify, and grant the requested relief so that the initiative may be decided by the voters at the November election,” the court said in a 55-page decision written by Justice Ralph Gants.

The casino repeal campaign this summer and fall is expected to draw significant national interest — and money.

From the Massachusetts State House News Service

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