Ah, sweet victory: Steve Wynn’s Everett, Massachusetts casino can finally move forward after having a referendum vote supporting casinos passed away night that is last.
Residents of Massachusetts have opted for to uphold the state’s three-year-old casino law, voting overwhelmingly in yesterday’s midterms in favor of maintaining the fledgling casino market, since the polls had predicted.
Somewhat confusingly, ‘no’ meant ‘yes’ for casinos on this ballot, as voters were asked perhaps the statutory law must be repealed, with 59.5 percent to 40.5 percent deciding that no, it should never be repealed, meaning that yes, they wanted casinos.
Some commentators have actually recommended that the language used in posing the relevant question was deliberately muddled and designed to confuse.
However, it’s a victory for MGM and Wynn Resorts, who have had their respective projects provided the greenlight by regulators and who can now finally and definitely move forward with the licensing process, a privilege which is why they will fork out $85 million a piece before a cornerstone that is single set.
Not surprisingly, casino executives had been jubilant and anxious to emphasize what the casinos will do for their communities that are future.
‘Voters across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts today voiced their support of the 10,000 job that is permanent and significant economic benefits provided by the Gaming Act of 2011,’ said pleased MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren. ‘MGM Resorts International would like to thank the thousands of volunteers and supporters who comprehended exactly what was at stake and worked so difficult to bring this historic opportunity to realization we can now begin the job of rebuilding a good downtown, and igniting a renaissance in Western Massachusetts. for themselves and their neighbors …’
The Next Big Step
MGM now plans to create an $800 million casino resort on a plot that is 14.5-acre downtown Springfield, with construction most likely to begin in the springtime and a scheduled opening in the summertime of 2017.
Wynn Resorts, meanwhile, which fought a bidding that is protracted with Mohegan Sun for the right to make an application for the sole east Massachusetts license, the right it had been granted just in early September, will get ahead using its plans to create a $1.6 billion casino on a contaminated former chemical plant in Everett, north of Boston. Wynn will spend millions to have the site cleaned up and decontaminated before construction ensues.
‘While it is a lengthy procedure, the advantageous assets to everybody in the Commonwealth will be worth it,’ stated Wynn Resorts Senior Vice President Robert DeSalvio.
Never ever in Doubt?
The license that is third secured early in the day into the year by Penn National Gaming, which quickly moved ahead featuring its plans to expand Plainridge Park harness racetrack into a slots parlor, despite knowing there clearly was a chance that the bill could possibly be repealed.
‘It’s a risk, however it’s a risk that is calculated’ said Jay Snowden, Penn National’s chief operating officer, many months back. ‘We’re confident we will prevail in november’
And he had been right, however the issue had been perhaps never truly in doubt. While the Repeal the Deal contingent was vocal, it lacked the funding of its powerful opponents, and the pro-casino vote had led regularly in the polls.
According to recent campaign finance reports, ‘no’ (meaning yes) vote campaigners had raised nearly $12 million, most of it donated by casino companies, while the ‘yes’ meaning no vote was able to raise simply $675,000.
MGM donated $2.5 million and Wynn Resorts $1 million, while Penn National topped the bill with $3.2 million. This was the reason that the pro-casino effort ended up being in a position to spend $2 million on casino advertising in October alone, at an occasion whenever its opponents were a declaring a balance of $30,000 and debts of $400,000.
Nationwide Election Results May Affect US Online Gambling
Supporters of a Wynn casino in Everett celebrated the defeat of a casino repeal effort in Massachusetts. (Image: Barry Chin/Globe Staff)
Election Day 2014 did not feature a referendum on Internet gambling, nor did anything earth-shattering occur that will forever change the video gaming landscape in the usa.
Still, there were a true number of neighborhood results that were of interest to those who care about gambling problems, and one overarching storyline that may contour the movement for the debate over online gambling for the next two years.
That story that is big as you may have guessed, had been the Republican takeover of the Senate.
The GOP has clinched at least 52 seats in the Senate, one more than was needed in order to take the majority while final results (including a runoff election and a decision by Independent Senator Angus King on which party to caucus with) won’t be known for some time.
Republican Majority and On Line Poker
The Republican majorities in both houses are worth keeping an eye on while this shouldn’t incite panic among those who enjoy online gambling. Thanks to a plank into the national platform that is republican the support of vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, the most vocal voices opposed to online gambling tend to come through the GOP. The majority that is new lead supporters of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act to try to advance the bill in Congress.
However, the chances of such a bill passing are still rather slim. Not everyone in the Republican Party is in favor of an online gambling ban, and also a lot of those which can be may not think the issue is well worth fighting over, as it’s hardly an important consideration one of the public. While those in favor of a ban might be able to court support that is enough democratic offset the losses in their own party, that is far from particular, and the possibility of a split within the GOP in the issue might be enough to avoid it from ever gaining any momentum.
Massachusetts Casino Repeal Defeated Handily
In more local results, there were two ballot initiatives of interest to the gaming industry, one on each coast. In the East Coast, perhaps the gambling that is highest-profile of the 12 months occurred in Massachusetts, where anti-casino activists were hoping to repeal a law that allowed for the certification and building of three resort casinos in hawaii, along with a slots parlor. As recent polling suggested, the anti-casino forces came up well short, with 59 percent voting ‘No’ on the repeal.
Still, state officials acknowledged that the significant portion of the population that had been against their efforts had made their sounds heard.
‘ We realize that approximately 41 percent voted in favor of the ballot initiative [meaning for the repeal], which is our job to carry on to earn the confidence of all of the the people in Massachusetts proponents and opponents alike,’ said Steve Crosby, chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
Meanwhile, voters in California rejected Proposition 48, a measure that could have permitted the North Fork Rancheria Band of Mono Indians to create a major casino about 40 kilometers away from their reservation. Had the proposition passed, opponents stated it would have set a precedent tribes that are allowing build video gaming facilities far beyond their lands.
‘This vote no puts the ball squarely in the state Legislature’s court: they now can make a policy that is consistent tribal gaming,’ stated Cheryl Schmit, director of remain true for California, friends opposing the proposition.
Some gubernatorial events may likewise have an effect on the future of both land-based and online gambling in different states. Perhaps most notably, the re-election of Florida governor Rick Scott in a race that is tight Democratic challenger Charlie Crist was seen as a bad sign for online gambling into the state, as Scott is a huge supporter of Adelson’s efforts to ban Internet gambling.
Chukchansi Gold Casino Tribal Leaders Turn Themselves In After Break-In
Tex McDonald, leader of the group that stormed the Chukchansi casino final month, turns himself in. (Image: fresnobee.com)
Two tribal council users faced with serious offenses relating to last month’s armed standoff during the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino near Coarsegold, California have turned themselves in. The casino ended up being stormed by 20 armed men on October 9, the culmination of a power that is bizarre between rival factions vying for control of the casino.
No arrests were made at the scene, as the siege happened on tribal land, but Madera County District Attorney Michael Keitz announced last Friday that 15 of the aggressors would be charged with serious felonies, including kidnapping, false imprisonment, attack by having a firearm, attack with a life-threatening weapon, and battery inflicting injury that is serious.
The group’s leader, Tex McDonald, 64, and fellow council member Vernon James King, 59, turned themselves in on Monday, followed several hours later by two members associated with the security force that accompanied the group in the raid.
McDonald, whom has past convictions for assault having a weapon that is deadly making criminal threats, is charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, attack by having a firearm, attack with a lethal weapon, battery causing severe injury, and assault with a stun gun, and his bail has been set at $1 million. The other people face similar costs, with bail set at $800,000 for each.
Another safety guard was arrested Sunday, but during the time of writing, 10 people remain at large.
The origin of the dispute among the Picayune Ranchera of Chukchansi Indians seems to relate to the practice that is controversial of,’ where a tribe strips certain members of their tribal status, thus denying them the associated benefits, in this situation benefit from the casino.
Since 2003, hundreds of people have already been stripped of their affiliations that are tribal including a few of the last native speakers of the Chukchansi language. This led to a election that is disputed 2012 and a schism in the tribe between those that supported disenrollment and those bitterly opposed.
It appears the McDonald faction was in fact managing the casino from its base at a nearby business complex up until August, as soon as the rival faction, led by Reggie Lewis, a proponent of disenrollment and incumbent leader of the council after the disputed election, occupied the tenth and 11th floors of this casino in the very early hours of the morning, effortlessly taking it over.
Then in October, the Tribal Gaming Authority threatened to close the casino down and fine the tribe as much as $16 million, because of late filing of audits. This prompted the McDonald faction to work, in what they claim was an attempt to retrieve the audits and save the casino.
Criminal or Hero?
And to some, despite the criminality of his tactics, McDonald is just a hero, a ‘patriot’ fighting for the great associated with tribe. ‘My clients went in to recover papers so the casino would not power down,’ advertised his lawyer, adding that the faction represented the ‘duly constituted tribal council. They just took steps to protect the tribe.’
Others, however, don’t see quite the exact same tactics that are heroic the break-in.
‘Calling Tex McDonald a patriot is like calling a dictator democratically elected,’ said Richard Verri, representing the Lewis group. ‘ The unlawful justice system will see whether or not the images caught on video for the illegal actions and also the violence he committed upon a casino employee was legal or criminal.’
Whatever the truth associated with matter, McDonald now faces a ‘significant amount of time’ in state jail, according to District Attorney Keitz. And meanwhile the casino remains shuttered by order of the federal judge, with the consequence of lost revenue becoming devastating to the community.