People shut out by Beacon Hill on casinos

The People Have Been Shut Out By Beacon Hill

Monday, December 12, 2011, Boston, MA – Legislative leadership and Governor Deval L. Patrick crafted a bill behind closed doors that was meant to expedite expanding predatory gambling and keep The People out of the casino debate. Attorney General Martha Coakley has made the determination that the triumvirate was successful in crafting legal language to insulate this law to the citizen’s constitutional right to pursue a referendum. Together, they have decided The People may not be heard at this time.

Repeal The Deal Committee, a statewide coalition, will shift its focus to fighting the issue in host communities and preparing for the 2014 initiative, when opponents will not face the same legal obstacles deftly put into play by language in the predatory gambling bill. The committee has already recruited dozens of volunteer signature gatherers and will continue recruiting for the 2014 campaign, which begins with signature collections in 18 short months.

“They cannot keep the matter under wraps any longer. They may have successfully delayed this effort but that has only served to stir the hornet’s nest,” stated John Ribeiro, chairman of the coalition. Citing increased opposition in Foxboro, Holyoke and other potential casino sites Ribeiro said, “The People are undaunted and we will have our say, in due time.”

We will be presenting the Attorney General and our fellow citizens with a list of consumer protection issues that are embedded in the law that must be addressed before the commission can establish its guidelines, including factors largely unknown to the voting public and taxpayers:

  • Casinos have been designated as financial institutions giving them unfettered access to an individuals’ personal financial data.
  • Casinos will be able to extend credit to people who have been consuming alcohol, including those they may have plied with free “comp” drinks.
  • Casinos will be able to utilize cashless wagering systems, which has many unintended consequences: lottery impact, fewer jobs and more problem gamblers.

The gambling industry has spent millions of dollars creating an illusion of public support, while the ‘wizards’ on Beacon Hill remained hidden behind closed-doors and out of the public eye. The curtain has been torn away and The People recognize that politicians have stacked the deck in favor of their campaign donors and the gambling industry.

For more information contact us at 617-701-7823 or [email protected].


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