Casino opponents aim to repeal gambling bill


BOSTON ( -- A group opposing the state's gambling law plans to gather signatures this weekend in their quest to repeal the legislation.

An organization known as Repeal the Casino Deal will have more than 100 volunteers gathering signatures statewide.

"If we get this on the ballot and people vote against it the casinos would close their doors," said John Ribeiro, chair of Repeal the Casino Deal.

The group needs 70,000 certified signatures by Wednesday. Then it needs to get a court to overturn a decision by Attorney General Martha Coakley that the current law should stand.

"The court would actually have to overturn its own ruling on dog racing to prevent us from going forward," said Ribeiro.

But in Everett, where a Wynn casino deal is on the table, elected officials say the decision has been made.

"Changing the rules now, it's a little too late and I don't think it's fair to developers," said Mike McLaughlin.

Each developer has paid a non-refundable $400,000 per application. The payment is considered a contract and is why the AG's office let the casino law stand.

Meanwhile, Revere's mayor is trying to keep a bid for a casino at Suffolk Downs on the table. On Wednesday, Mayor Dan Rizzo sent a letter to the state gaming commission asking members to consider the 60% "Yes" vote by Revere voters.

"I respectfully request you keep the voice of our city's voters in mind when considering Suffolk Downs plans for Revere," wrote Rizzo.

McLaughlin says it shouldn't happen.

"Stop the bickering. Accept the fact the City of Boston doesn't want a casino in their community and move forward," said McLaughlin.

Repeal the Casino Deal's organizers say the East Boston Vote, a recount in Palmer and uncertainty in Milford will roll the dice in their favor.

"If the casinos question comes up next year, we're going to defeat it," said Ribeiro.


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