CASINO ALERT AND UPDATE: Casino development is still a threat to Holyoke: 1. Casino Referendum – Holyoke residents will be tasked with voting concerning development of a casino on Nov. 5th. Though this is a non-binding referendum it will not only be considered by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in making their decision for placing a Western Massachusetts casino, every public official or potential public official, and every Holyoke resident who votes will use its outcome in decisions made concerning Holyoke’s future.
2. Who gets it has not been decided and a specific geographical location did not have to be designated by individual developers when applications were accepted in the Gaming Commission’s Phase 1.
3. Hard Rock Casino is not likely to just give up after losing the West
Springfield casino referendum for the above stated reason. They already have a fully developed plan (Wyckoff Country Club/Mountain Park) ready to go, and lots of money invested including a non-refundable $400,000 application fee, lawyers’ fees, marketing, etc. And for the developers…they see billions of dollars to be made for themselves that they are not likely to give up on just yet. 4. Prevention and watchfulness is the best strategy for us. A year ago, everyone thought Palmer had it locked up, over Springfield… now look at it. Most of us were pretty sure in Holyoke that we could avoid a time-consuming and costly casino referendum back in the early spring. But our City Council slipped in a last minute vote on it when 3 City Council members who were likely to vote against it were known to be absent from that meeting. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has the final decision in their hands. Who knows what politics or other variables may come to play in that decision. Would you rather be vigilant in protecting our city from this kind of devastating development, and the casino goes to somewhere besides Holyoke (along with all its problems), or stay asleep and wake up one day to find a casino with all its destructive outcomes is being built in your city?