Massachusetts casino bill hits snag

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jul 31, 2010 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

A sweeping expansion of gambling in Massachusetts seemed like a foregone conclusion just a few months ago, but now appears to have hit a roadblock as Gov. Deval Patrick has threatened to veto the bill in its current form.

Patrick, one of the initiators of adding casinos in Massachusetts is upset over the inclusion of two slots parlors that will be added to area racetracks. Patrick is in favor of full casinos, but not racetracks as they do not add jobs. Another issue Patrick has with the current form of the bill is that the two licenses will only be bid upon by the state’s four current racetracks.

Lawmakers still have time to make changes, or Patrick could give some ground on the racinos as they’re known. The only other option would be for Gov. Patrick to veto the bill and send it back to lawmakers with amendments –starting the process all over again. Lawmakers are hopeful that Patrick will take the compromise so that Massachusetts can cash in on the windfall of licensing fees and taxes that gambling offers.

With virtually every state in the Northeast expanding gambling, failure to pass this bill could leave Massachusetts out in the cold, as gambling revenues continue to cross state lines and pour into the coffers of Connecticut and other states.

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