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Anti-casino advocates continue push for ballot question repealing gambling law

Posted by Your Town  September 11, 2013 11:21 AM

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Anti-casino advocates have filed for a court injunction challenging Attorney General Martha Coakley's decision not to certify a proposed 2014 ballot question that would repeal the state's expanded gambling law.

Casino regualtors are months away from awarding licenses for two resort-style casinos and a slot parlor, and Coakley ruled that the questions would violate applicants' constitutional rights to compensation for the taking of private property for public use.

Repeal the Casino Deal, a statewide coalition behind the ballot intiative, said it filed for the injunction Tuesday with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and will be represented by East Boston attorney Matthew Cameron.

“Citizens of the Commonwealth will not be denied our right to pursue having our voices heard and cast a vote on bringing the gambling industry with known permanent negative impacts to our communities," said John Ribeiro, a Winthrop resident and chairperson of Repeal the Casino Deal. “In fact, we are more energized than ever following the stunning decision by the AG.”

He continued, “The whole matter of expanding predatory gambling has been fueled by special interests including political ambitions and gimmicks to fix budget challenges.”

Anti-casino activists proposed a similar ballot question to repeal the 2011 expanded gaming law for the 2012 statewide election, but had that question ruled ineligible for the ballot by Coakley as well after she ruled that the language would unlawfully impact monetary appropriations, which is prohibited in ballot questions.

- M. Murphy/SHNS

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