Metro

Independent candidates for governor split on casinos

The three independent candidates for governor split over repeal of the state’s casino law at a Boston Globe Opinion Debate Tuesday afternoon.

Evan Falchuk, a lawyer and former business executive, said he was pleased the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday morning to put the repeal on the state ballot in November, giving voters a choice.

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But he said he would vote to keep the law on the books.

“Part of what is very practically wrong with politics in America today is that we pass things and then we spend the next couple of years repealing them and fighting over them on very ideological grounds,” Falchuk said. ”We need to move forward.”

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Jeff McCormick, a venture capitalist, said he favors repeal.

“I don’t think casinos are a good economic development tool,” he said. “I built companies my whole career. I would much rather be focused on long-term sustainable companies that actually solve problems -- that don’t have the unintended consequences of casinos.”

Scott Lively, a pastor, said he backs repeal. “I’m 100 percent opposed to casino gambling and frankly all the forms of gambling, not for the economic issues as much as the moral issue,” he said.

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Lively said he also opposes Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, concerned it could attract terrorism. McCormick cautioned that any Olympic effort should avoid “white elephants,” expensive facilities that are underutilized after the Games.

Falchuk said he opposes the Olympic bid.

“What we need in Massachusetts is cheaper healthcare and more affordable homes for people to live in,” said. “The Olympics doesn’t bring either of those things, so no.”

David Scharfenberg can be reached at david.scharfenberg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dscharfGlobe
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