Editorial: ‘No’ on Question 1 — a risky bet on slots

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Question 1 on the Massachusetts ballot asks voters to approve a second slots parlor in the state.

So narrowly construed is the bill — “adjacent to and within 1,500 feet of a race track”, “where a horse racing meeting may physically be held”, “where a horse racing meeting shall have been hosted” — that the only place where it could be sited is near Suffolk Downs in Revere.

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The bill stands to benefit, or not, only Eugene McClain, the man behind it.


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We admire McClain’s gumption while acknowledging some of the myriad reasons to vote “no” on Question 1. To wit:

  • The $2 billion Wynn Resorts casino that is slated to open in December 2019 in Everett, roughly three miles from Suffolk Downs;
  • The existing slots parlor in Massachusetts, Plainridge Park Casino off Route 1 and Interstate 495 in Plainville, has seen revenues fall and has consistently not met projections;
  • The ballot initiative was written for the benefit of one corporation, on one piece of land, and circumvents years of planning and execution since the Massachusetts Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 was passed;
  • Revere doesn’t want it. Voters rejected a non-binding referendum, 2,970 to 1,574, just last month.

For these reason, we strongly urge a “no” vote on Question 1.

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