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Casino Petition Rejected by State Attorney General

A petition organized by a would-be developer of a casino in Milford, which would have placed the question of a casino on a ballot next year, has been rejected as unconstitutional by state Attorney General Martha Coakley.

State Attorney General Martha Coakley has rejected the wording of a petition question that could have placed the issue of a Milford casino before voters next year.

The petition, circulated by prospective casino developer David Nunes, was presented last month to the state Attorney General's Office for a review of the constitutionality of its scope.

On Wednesday, Coakley announced through a press release that the language of the initiative petition had failed to meet initial certification requirements, because it was unreasonably restrictive in location. The wording of the petition specified Milford as one of three potential locations for a casino.

According to a press release from Coakley's office, initiative petitions cannot propose "laws relating to the powers of courts or to religion, laws that make specific appropriations from the Treasury and laws that apply only to limited parts of the state."

Nunes could not be reached Wednesday afternoon for comment.

His proposal is but one way the issue could have reached Milford voters. The state legislature is expected soon to — recently agreed upon by the governor and leaders of the state House and Senate — that would allow three Vegas-style casinos in Massachusetts.

That bill sets up distinct geographic areas for the casino proposals, including an area from Worcester east to Boston that could include Milford.

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