SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - To build a casino in western Massachusetts, a developer needs a host agreement, then a license from the state gaming commission, but perhaps more importantly, the voters' approval.
In Springfield that casino referendum vote could take place as early as next Spring, but there's a new push to include a casino referendum on the ballot for next November's the regularly scheduled election.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has expressed an interest in an early special casino referendum election, but Citizens Against Casino Gaming is asking the referendum be part of the regularly scheduled municipal election in November.
Chairman of Citizens Against Casino Gaming Michael Kogut told 22News "It's a special interest that will influence the vote, barraging the voters with money. It's not enough time to get educated and even miss the opportunity because of the timing or the lack of publicity."
Some voters told 22News because a casino is something that will affect everyone in the city, no matter when the referendum is, they will go out and vote.
Abigail Latorre of Springfield said, "Yes I would. I would tell everyone. Recommend on Twitter and Facebook."
Liberty Mudasar of Springfield told 22News "At times people do not show up when it does really matter, and then those are the ones who are complaining. Now in order for something to count, yes you should go out and vote."
And some voters say they actually want a special election. Aaron Murray of Springfield said "Just so people can get their idea and their vote out there, and get the decision going."
Right now it is unclear when this proposal to push back the referendum will be on the City Council agenda.