Voters Keep Casinos In Mass.

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Massachusetts voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a ballot question that would have repealed the state's casino law, opening the door for up to three resort-style casinos and one slots parlor to be built.

One of those casinos is slated for Everett. One of developer Steve Wynn's biggest selling points when he was pitching his casino here was that he would bring a five-star resort to the city.

That was on full display at Everett High School Tuesday, where a Wynn-sponsored watch party transformed the gymnasium into a banquet hall with mood lighting, catered hors d'oeuvres and the school orchestra.

"It's a gamechanger for the entire city. And for us to be part of the Lower Broadway master plan, I think this city's going to look dramatically different 10 years from now," said Wynn Vice President Robert DeSalvio.

"The voters of the commonwealth have spoken and spoken in a big way," DeSalvio said. "By a wide majority, they've approved that the casino resorts in this commonwealth can go forward. And for us as a developer, that means a lot, and we can't wait to get started on the project."

DeSalvio said the company plans to begin construction just after the new year, and is eyeing an opening in late 2017.

But repeal backers are promising another challenge, even after the resort opens. Repeal the Casino Deal Chairman John Ribeiro said he'll file another ballot question in 2020, once voters see the effects of casinos firsthand.

"Small businesses will be impacted, crime will go up, property values will go down," Ribeiro said. "And eventually the people will come back around and we still reserve the right to repeal the law some time in the future."

This segment aired on November 5, 2014.

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Jack Lepiarz Reporter and Anchor
Jack Lepiarz was a reporter and anchor at WBUR.



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