Ah, sweet victory: Steve Wynn’s Everett, Massachusetts casino can finally move forward following a referendum vote supporting casinos passed away night that is last.
Residents of Massachusetts have selected to uphold the state’s three-year-old casino law, voting overwhelmingly in yesterday’s midterms in favor of maintaining the fledgling casino market, due to the fact polls had predicted.
Somewhat confusingly, ‘no’ meant ‘yes’ for casinos on this ballot, as voters were asked whether or not the law ought to be repealed, with 59.5 % to 40.5 percent deciding that no, it will never be repealed, meaning that yes, they wanted gambling enterprises.
Some commentators have actually suggested that the language used in posing the question was deliberately muddled and created to confuse.
Nevertheless, it is a victory for MGM and Wynn Resorts, who have had their respective projects offered the greenlight by regulators and who can now finally and definitely go forward with the licensing procedure, a privilege for which they will fork out $85 million an item before a single cornerstone is laid.
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 permanent job opportunities and significant economic benefits provided by the Gaming Act of 2011,’ said pleased MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren. ‘MGM Resorts International want to thank the thousands of volunteers and supporters who comprehended just what is at stake and worked so difficult to bring this historic opportunity to realization we can now begin the task of rebuilding an excellent 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 likely to begin in the springtime and a scheduled opening in the summer of 2017.
Wynn Resorts, meanwhile, which fought a protracted bidding war with Mohegan Sun for the best to make an application for the sole east Massachusetts license, a right it had been granted just in early September, will get ahead with 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 own the site cleaned up and decontaminated before construction ensues.
‘While it happens to be an extended procedure, the advantages to everyone else in the Commonwealth will be well worth it,’ stated Wynn Resorts Senior Vice President Robert DeSalvio.
Never ever in Doubt?
The license that is third secured earlier in the day into the year by Penn National Gaming, which quickly moved ahead along with its intends to expand Plainridge Park harness racetrack in to a slots parlor, despite knowing there clearly was a chance that the bill might be repealed.
‘It’s a risk, but it’s a calculated risk,’ said Jay Snowden, Penn National’s chief operating officer, almost a year right back. ‘We’re confident we are going to prevail in November.’
And he was right, but the issue ended up being perhaps never really 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 consistently in the polls.
In accordance with campaign that is recent reports, ‘no’ (meaning yes) vote campaigners had raised nearly $12 million, most of it donated by casino businesses, while the ‘yes’ meaning no vote was able to raise just $675,000.
MGM donated $2.5 million and Wynn Resorts $1 million, while Penn National topped the bill with $3.2 million. This ended up being the explanation that the effort that is pro-casino able to spend $2 million on casino marketing in October alone, at an occasion when 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 the casino repeal effort in Massachusetts. (Image: Barry Chin/Globe Staff)
Election Day 2014 didn’t feature a referendum on Internet gambling, nor did anything earth-shattering occur that will forever replace the video gaming landscape in the usa.
Still, there were number of regional results that were of interest to people who worry about gambling problems, and one overarching storyline that could contour the motion of this debate over online gambling for the following two years.
That story that is big while you could have guessed, was the Republican takeover of the Senate.
While results (including a runoff election and a choice by Independent Senator Angus King on which party to caucus with) won’t be known for some time, the GOP has clinched at the least 52 seats within the Senate, one more than ended up being needed in order to just take the majority.
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 within the national Republican platform and the support of nevada Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, the absolute most vocal voices in opposition to online gambling tend to come through the GOP. The new majority could lead supporters of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act to attempt to advance the bill in Congress.
However, the odds of such a bill passing are still rather slim. Not everyone in the Republican Party is in favor of an online gambling ban, as well as a lot of those which can be might not think the issue is worth fighting over, as it’s hardly a major consideration among the list of public that is general. While those in support of a ban could probably court enough Democratic help to offset the losses in their own party, that’s far from specific, and the possibility of a split within the GOP on the issue could be enough to cease it from ever gaining any momentum.
Massachusetts Casino Repeal Defeated Handily
Much more local results, there were two ballot initiatives of interest to the gaming industry, one on each coast. Regarding the East Coast, perhaps the highest-profile gambling battle of the year occurred in Massachusetts, where anti-casino activists were hoping to repeal a law that allowed for the licensing and building of three resort gambling enterprises in hawaii, along side a slots parlor. As current 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 populace that ended up being against their efforts had made their sounds heard.
‘ We understand 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 allowed the North Fork Rancheria Band of Mono Indians to construct a major casino about 40 kilometers far from their reservation. Had the proposition passed, opponents said it could 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 constant policy on tribal gaming,’ stated Cheryl Schmit, director of Stand Up for California, friends opposing the proposition.
Some gubernatorial races may also have an impact 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 tight battle over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist was viewed as a poor sign for on line gambling within the state, as Scott has been a supporter of Adelson’s efforts to ban online gambling.
Chukchansi Gold Casino Tribal Leaders Turn Themselves In After Break-In
Tex McDonald, leader of the group that stormed the Chukchansi casino final thirty days, turns himself in. (Image: fresnobee.com)
Two council that is tribal charged with serious offenses relating to final month’s armed standoff at the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino near Coarsegold, California have turned themselves in. The casino was stormed by 20 armed men on October 9, the culmination of a strange power struggle between competing factions vying for control of the casino.
No arrests were made at the scene, since the siege happened on tribal land, but Madera County District Attorney Michael Keitz announced last Friday that 15 of the aggressors would be faced with serious felonies, including kidnapping, false imprisonment, attack having a firearm, assault with a life-threatening weapon, and battery inflicting serious injury.
The team’s leader, Tex McDonald, 64, and fellow council member Vernon James King, 59, turned on their own in on Monday, used several hours later on by two members of this security force that accompanied the group on the raid.
McDonald, whom has past beliefs for assault having a weapon that is deadly making criminal threats, is charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault having a firearm, attack with a deadly weapon, battery causing severe injury, and assault with a slotsforfun-ca.com stun gun, and his bail has been set at $1 million. The other people face similar fees, with bail set at $800,000 for each.
Another safety guard was arrested Sunday, but at 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 your controversial practice of ‘disenrollment,’ when a tribe strips certain members of their tribal status, hence doubting them the associated benefits, in this situation profit from the casino.
Since 2003, hundreds of people have already been stripped of their tribal affiliations, including a number 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 who supported disenrollment and those bitterly opposed.
It appears the McDonald faction was indeed managing the casino from the base at a nearby business complex up until August, if the rival faction, led by Reggie Lewis, a proponent of disenrollment and incumbent frontrunner of the council following a disputed election, occupied the tenth and 11th floors for the casino into the very early hours of the early morning, efficiently 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, due to late filing of audits. This prompted the McDonald faction to act, in whatever 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 good regarding the tribe. ‘My clients went in to recover documents so the casino wouldn’t power down,’ stated his attorney, adding that the faction represented the ‘duly constituted council that is tribal. They simply took steps to protect the tribe.’
Others, however, don’t see quite the exact same heroic strategies in 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 otherwise not the images caught on video of the unlawful actions therefore the violence he committed upon a casino employee had been legal or unlawful.’
Whatever the truth of this 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 a judge that is federal with the consequence of lost revenue becoming devastating to the community.