Statewide, the biggest news last Tuesday was the nip-and-tuck gubernatorial race, but in Everett the story of the night was Question 3 – the casino repeal vote.
And as the results statewide rolled in and it appeared Question 3 was going to be defeated and the Wynn casino proposal would roll on in Everett, a loud cheer rolled out of Everett High School where there was an official City and Wynn viewing party.
The statewide results showed a 40 percent vote to repeal and a 60 percent vote not to repeal.
In Everett, the margin was – obviously – much greater, with 24.5 percent voting to repeal and 75 percent voting against the repeal.
“We are pleased that Massachusetts residents showed their continued strong support of casino gaming,” said Justine Griffin of the ‘No on 3’ campaign. “The vote means that three of the world’s leading and most respected gaming companies will invest billions in Massachusetts starting immediately. By preserving the casino law, voters ensured that we will generate 10,000 new jobs and 6,500 construction jobs for Massachusetts residents and will bring $400 million in new annual revenue for Massachusetts. That money can be invested in our priorities here – in education, infrastructure, and public safety.”
Michael McLaughlin, a former Everett city councillor who was very active with the ‘No on 3’ campaign, said on Tuesday that the excitement in the city is building.
“It’s been a tremendous week in Everett,” he said. “People are pumped up and excited now that we’ve cleared the final hurdle. People here are ready to get to work building a $2 billion development in Everett. We are anticipating a new rendering from Wynn Las Vegas and we are anticipating construction jobs being filled in the near future.”
Wynn Resorts officials said they were ready to get to work after last Tuesday’s public affirmation of the casino law.
“Tonight, we get to work on creating four thousand great paying careers and generating millions of dollars in tax revenues to businesses throughout Massachusetts,” said Wynn’s Robert DeSalvio just after the results came in.
While it has been a long process, the benefits to everyone in the Commonwealth will be worth it. “We thank the voters for their support and look forward to uniting with our neighbors to build a destination resort that all of us will be proud of.”
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said it was a great day for the City as it will allow a long-contaminated waterfront site to be built upon.
“Last night’s results on Question 3 mark a great victory for the State of Massachusetts and for the City of Everett,” said the mayor. “The people of the Commonwealth have spoken, affirming that the institution of gaming legislation is a positive and progressive choice for our state. For the City of Everett this is truly the opportunity of a lifetime. With the building of Wynn Everett, a contaminated and long-forgotten site will be remediated and developed, a gateway neighborhood will be stimulated and revitalized, and a city, our City, will be changed for the better forever. I thank Steve Wynn and his team at Wynn Resorts for their support and faith in the City of Everett. And I thank the people of Everett for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to our vision for our City.”
Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) Chair Steve Crosby said the MGC respects the voters choice and will move quickly to implement what was affirmed.
“The Commission remains committed to two key objectives: maximizing the revenue, jobs and other economic development impacts of expanded gaming; and minimizing the unintended and potentially negative consequences of expanded gaming,” Crosby said. “We realize that approximately 41 percent voted in favor of the ballot initiative, and it is our job to continue to earn the confidence of all the people of Massachusetts – proponents and opponents alike.”
Speaking of opponents, it wasn’t everyone who was happy with the results. John Ribeiro, chair of Repeal the Casino Deal,
“Of course we’re disappointed we came up short on Tuesday, but we left it all on the field and our work is not over,” Ribeiro said. “The casino industry profits at the expense of families and small businesses. Rest assured, we will be watching the licensing process and the Massachusetts Gambling Commission very closely as the process continues…As talks continue over mitigation, surrounding community agreements and infrastructure projects, we all need to hold our leaders accountable. As Thomas Jefferson said, ‘The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.’”