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Massachusetts court allows referendum on casino law repeal

Filed Under: Casino Stalker | Compacts | Connecticut | Legislation | Litigation
More on: bia, class iii, connecticut, mashantucket, massachusetts, mohegan, wampanoag

Artist's rendering of proposed First Light Resort and Casino. Image from Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

Voters in Massachusetts will get their say on the state's gaming law this November.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today cleared the way for a referendum on H.3702, the Massachusetts Expanded Gaming Act. The law authorized casino-style gaming and its repeal could affect the rights of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

The tribe already has a Class III gaming compact that was approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It's not clear what will happen to the agreement if the referendum passes -- the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act only allows tribes to engage in the same types of games that are legal in a state.

The tribe's right to offer Class II games, such as bingo and electronic forms of bingo, would not be affected either way.

Repeal also will affect plans for commercial casinos elsewhere in the state. The Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, both from Connecticut, are pursuing licenses that were authorized by the law.

The case is Abdow v. Attorney General.

Get the Story:
Martha Coakley is 'pleased' with SJC's ruling on casino gambling repeal (MassLive 6/24)
Supreme Judicial Court: Casino repeal ballot question will be on the ballot this fall (MassLive 6/24)
SJC Rules Repeal of Mass. Casino Law Can Go To Ballot (The Boston Globe 6/24)
SJC ruling clears way for casino law repeal vote in November (The Cape Cod Times 6/24)
Voters to decide fate of Massachusetts casino law (AP 6/24)

Related Stories:
Commercial casino plans to compete with Connecticut tribes (6/16)

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