Voters in Massachusetts decide to check NO on ballot question for second slots parlor.
Across the United States, voters took to the polls yesterday to vote on a number of leadership roles, including the presidency. Several states had amendments up for vote that would see changes made in the state based on a number of subjects including the gambling industry. In Massachusetts, the subject of gambling was to be voted in with a second slots parlor question placed on the amendment. Voters were not in favor of the measure apparently, as the majority decided to check NO on the ballot box.
Steve Wynn Must be Happy
There were several opposed to the referendum that would have allowed a second slots parlor in the state, including Steve Wynn. For those who do not know, Wynn is a casino mogul who is the name behind the many Wynn casino gaming properties found across the globe. Wynn has been opposed of the referendum from the very beginning as the proposed venue in Revere would be in competition with his new casino, the Wynn Boston Harbor, currently being constructed and set to open soon in Everett, Massachusetts.
Wynn has reportedly spend as much as $39,000 in a last minute campaign effort to thwart the initiative. It seems as if his efforts have paid off as voters have choose NO on the measure, according to the Boston Globe. 61% of voters rejected the measure while 39% were in favor. Question 1, if approved, would have allowed Eugene McCain the ability to create a second slots parlor in the state. There is currently only one venue in the state, located in Plainville. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission would have provided a license for the parlor to be created.
Based on the current state law, Massachusetts is restricted to offering only one slots parlor and three resort style casinos. This law was created in 2011 to limit competition. This would have changed if the backer of the initiative of McCain had been successful.
Who Was Backing the Project?
In the beginning, the funding for the project was kept secret with no one knowing who was behind the proposal besides McCain. However, one week before voters hit the polls, the funder of the project was named. Bridge Capital LLC was found to be behind the project, a company based in Saipan. The company has a history of launching slots parlors across the globe.
Reportedly, the company had created a pro-second slots parlor campaign that cost $3.2 million to be able to claim air time on the radio as well as television. The slots parlor was said to be able to bring as much as $88 million in revenues to the state. However, opponents said this was not true. Leader of the opposition, Celeste Ribeiro Myers stated the following:
The group that Myers led raised just over $5,000 to fight the proposal and was quickly followed by Wynn who spent a little to try and thwart plans. It seems that the opponents have gotten their way for now but it would not be surprising to see the idea of a second slots parlor stick around and McCain continue to try to see the venue created in the state. For now, opponents can rest easy knowing that gaming will not be expanding in the state as of now.