Casino gambling was supposed to create thousands of jobs. Now it could be a job killer — and not for the reasons opponents prattle on about.
After decades of debate, Massachusetts finally legalized gaming less than three years ago. But in some circles, the debate never ended. Just as we are about to hand out the first set of resort licenses, a group is trying to get a question to repeal the casino law on the November ballot. This after prospective casino operators dropped millions of dollars on their applications expecting that roulette wheels would one day spin.
Now it’s up to the state Supreme Judicial Court to decide whether the Repeal the Casino Deal campaign can move forward. In a brief filed with the court, business advocacy group Massachusetts Competitive Partnership tells justices to just say no to the ballot initiative, arguing “the potential economic harm of the Petition would extend far beyond the businesses that have directly invested in legalized gaming and could potentially damage the reputation of the Commonwealth for years to come.”
Put another way, businesses hate working in a climate of uncertainty, and giving voters the chance to undo the casino law would make the state the laughingstock of economic development officials nationwide.
No matter how you feel about the societal impact of gaming or its merits as an economic engine, the group — headed by former state economic development secretary Dan O’Connell and cofounded by Suffolk Construction chief John Fish — makes an important point.
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