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Massachusetts Voters Want More Direct Input on Casino Licensing

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While gambling legalization is moving forward in many US states, concerned citizens and public interest groups are having misgivings.

A National Public Radio poll in Boston found that voters in the state want a referendum on whether or not state lawmakers can issue commercial casino licenses. The survey found that 52 percent of residents in the state want a referendum, and 39 percent are opposed to commercial casinos in the state.

John Ribiero of anti-gambling group Repeal the Casino Deal weighed in on the issue: “One of the basic truths, through all this, is that the more people learn about casinos, the less they like them.”

Despite the misgivings of many citizens and public interest groups, gambling legalization is moving forward in many US states. New York and Pennsylvania recently legalized commercial casinos while the first-ever online casinos in the US launched in New Jersey and Delaware last year.

State on the verge of granting major casino license

American gambling laws allow each state to self-regulate its casino market. Massachusetts legalized commercial casinos for the first time in 2011 with little public debate. Three years later, however, the public is rethinking the decision of their elected representatives.

The political backlash comes as the state’s gambling commission is about to issue a license for a major casino project near Boston.

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