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Voters of all persuasions can be glad for one thing: The Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s decision Tuesday to award a casino license to Wynn Resorts in Everett brings into much sharper focus just what casino gambling in the state would actually look like. The commission has now selected three of the four license recipients envisioned under the 2011 law; Tuesday’s license was by far the most extensive plan approved yet. So when voters decide in a November referendum whether to repeal the casino law, they won’t just have general impressions to guide them — they’ll know what they’re accepting or rejecting. And although the elated faces of Wynn supporters hinted at the possibilities many Massachusetts residents see in casinos, the lengthy public debate before the commission’s vote also provided a number of reminders of why many others remain skeptical of expanded gambling.

The Wynn plan is controversial, especially in Boston, where many Charlestown residents object to the potential for more traffic, noise, and crime. Critics, including at least one of the gaming commissioners, considered the building’s design ugly. Nonetheless, in its deliberations the commission made a convincing case that the $1.6 billion plan was better than its sole competitor, the Mohegan Sun proposal at Suffolk Downs. Wynn promises to create thousands of construction and permanent jobs, clean up a moribund section of the Mystic River, and boost international tourism to Greater Boston. Working within the confines of the state casino law, commissioners chose the stronger plan.

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The question that voters will confront in November, though, is whether this law is fundamentally sound. In Everett, Springfield, and Plainville, the three communities selected thus far for gambling facilities, officials are anxious to keep it on the books. Springfield and Everett, poorer cities with frayed tax bases, see the casino as an economic salvation. In Plainville, residents hope the slot parlor awarded to the town will throw a lifeline to the town’s Plainridge harness-racing track. Commercial interests have their own reason to oppose the ballot measure, fearing that a casino repeal would revive the state’s anti-business reputation. Most vividly, construction at Plainridge is already underway, and the pro-casino coalition is highlighting the law’s job-creation benefits as they become more tangible.

Still, the case against casinos has undeniably gained steam, too, in part as a result of Tuesday’s decision. Since the state approved casino gambling in 2011, the industry has been rocked by a big downturn, calling into question the rosy economic projections that undergirded the law. And the gaming commission’s own track record is bound to trouble some voters. In the Greater Boston area, the commission seemed to bend its own rules to make sure both applications would go forward. That may have been what it took to ensure a healthy competition for the license, but it also hints at the enormous pressure that casino gambling puts on the political and regulatory system.

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Some critics of the commission, including Mayor Marty Walsh, had hoped that the panel would postpone a decision in Greater Boston until after the referendum. But one of the benefits of Tuesday’s decision is that it clarifies the questions facing voters. As the fall campaign heats up, having real plans in real communities on the table should help keep both sides honest and prevent the kind of moralizing and wild optimism that can sometimes dominate casino debates. For better and for worse, the actual impacts of the 2011 law in Everett, Springfield, Plainville, and the Commonwealth are becoming clearer, and that can only aid voters in their decision of whether to keep it.

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