|The fate of casino gambling in Massachusetts may hinge on a case before the state's highest court Monday.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is set to hear arguments in a case centered on whether a question should be allowed on the November ballot asking voters if they want the state's 2011 casino law repealed. The court is expected to issue a decision by July.
If allowed on the ballot, the referendum could upend the state's ongoing casino licensing process.
Gambling giants MGM, Wynn, Mohegan Sun and others have expressed concern they could lose millions of dollars they've invested in the planning, development and promotion of their proposals if the referendum prevails. They also argue the state risks losing much more.
"Jobs certainty and billions of dollars in economic development hang in the balance," said Carole Brennan, a spokeswoman for MGM, which has proposed an $800 million casino project in downtown Springfield. "The Gaming Act allows for the creation of more than 10,000 jobs and the recapture of billions of dollars in tax revenues that are currently leaving the state. It doesn't make sense to forgo those opportunities."
State Attorney General Martha Coakley, a Democrat running for governor this year, has ruled that the question violates the state constitution and shouldn't be allowed on the ballot.