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Casinos Coming to Massachusetts?

Casinos Coming to Massachusetts?

House and Senate leaders in the state of Massachusetts plan to try once again to pass legislation to bring Vegas-style casinos to three different parts of the state as well as adding slots at one horse track. A previous attempt to get three casinos and two slots-only locations at horse tracks failed to get the approval of governor Deval Patrick.

Patrick's concern was over too many horse tracks automatically getting licenses to add slot machines, so the current plan of allowing just one license for slot machines is seen as a compromise that could be key to live casinos coming to Massachusetts for the first time.

The governor's office has worked directly with legislators drafting the current legislation so odds are good that it could be successful the second time around. Like many states, Massachusetts hopes to add its name to the list of states with US casinos, brining in desperately needed new tax revenues and targeting gambling dollars that otherwise leave the state.

The House and Senate will debate the new bill after Labor Day, with plans to use revenues generated to help support city, town, and state budgets that have suffered cutbacks in recent years due to a struggling economy and sluggish job growth.

Opponents of allowing casinos in Massachusetts point to the usual concerns that the negative social side effects of problem gambling and increased crime outweigh any extra money generated from casinos that might be added throughout the state. 

23-Aug-2011, 10:51

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