SBD/May 8, 2012/Facilities

Anti-Casino Advocates Elected In Foxboro, With Calls For Wynn, Kraft To End Campaign

Casino opponents swept the selectmen's race in Foxboro yesterday in a "stark public rebuke to Wynn Resorts and the casino developer’s plans to build a billion-dollar gambling resort across from Gillette Stadium,” according to Arsenault & Bolton of the BOSTON GLOBE. Though the casino proposal from developer Steve Wynn “was not on the ballot, the issue dominated the campaign, and the race came to be seen as a referendum on the project.” The vote “shifts the five-member board further against the project, with four selectmen opposed to the casino.” The election yesterday “was the first time local voters have weighed in on a casino proposal since Massachusetts’ expanded gambling law passed last year.” Wynn Resorts had “insisted before the election that -- no matter the result -- it would continue its public campaign to try to build support for its proposal.” Casino opponents now plan to appeal to Patriots Owner Robert Kraft “to consider the vote and pull his support for the project” (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/8). Selectman-elect Virginia Coppola, who is opposed to the casino, said, “Mr. Kraft and Mr. Wynn, when they originally announced the proposal, they said if the town of Foxboro had any hesitation they would back off. We started protesting; they did not back off. This is the referendum they’ve been asking for. It tells them they should back off.” In Boston, Chris Cassidy notes the election “wasn’t bad news for all would-be casino developers.” A death blow to the Foxboro plan “would likely pave the way for a casino" at the Suffolk Downs racetrack. Under state law, the Mass. Gaming Commission “can only assign one license to a developer” in the eastern part of the state (BOSTON HERALD, 5/8).
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