November 10, 2014

Massachusetts Referendum to Repeal Casino Law Fails

On Election Day, Massachusetts voters upheld the state’s three-year-old casino law that allows three casinos and one slot parlor to be built in various parts of the state.  The vote was 60% to 40% in favor of upholding the law and allowing casinos.

The law’s proponents ran a campaign that included thousands of television ads touting the jobs the casino industry would create in Massachusetts.  Its opponents countered that the gambling industry would take customers away from small businesses and increase gambling addition, traffic, and crime.

According to the Boston Globe, money and other resources decided the issue. Opponents “lacked a rich corporate patron that could substantially fund the campaign, and did not raise enough money from small donors to finance a competitive media effort,” the Globe stated. Additionally, the statewide referendum appeared to have diluted the “not-in-my-backyard” passion that often fuels local referenda.