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Local Voter Approval Required for Casinos

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October 4, 2007

Governor Patrick's casino plan will require voter approval before a developer submits a bid for a casino license in their community.

Daniel O'Connell, the Govenor's economic development secretary and chief gaming adviser, said the local ballot requirement will be part of the casino legislation to be sent to the Legislature next week. It will require a binding referendum on local ballots prior to submission of bids. The voters of Middleborough voted last July to approve a Mashpee Wampanoag casino in their town.

The bill will not name specific casino sites will identify three regions of the state that could host a casino. These will be metropolitan Boston, Southeastern Massachusetts, and Western Massachusetts. The licenses will be auctioned sequentially rather all at once. Losing bidders can bid again in the next auction which will be scheduled within 90 days. The filing file will be a non-refundable $300,000 plus an additional fee to bid on a license. It is expected that 14 to 16 bidders will particpate.

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