The issue of Casino Gambling in Massachusetts has had new life breathed into it this week.
House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo has said that he has "expanded his thinking" and would like to see resort casinos implemented in Massachusetts. Prior to this he had only supported the idea of slot machines at the state's horse and dog tracks.
He joins Senate President, Therese Murray who said a speech on Friday that Massachusetts should legalize casinos and specifically capture some of the revenue that is escaping to Connecticut through Foxwoods Casino and the Mohegan Sun.
At a Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Murray said, "If we are going to approve gaming, we should explore the option of resort-style destination casinos."
"The reality is that hundreds of millions of dollars are going to Connecticut from Massachusetts residents every year. We need to explore ways to capture that revenue. In addition to retaining the revenue, it will create jobs and get people back to work."
Governor, Deval Patrick, has been in support of this idea for quite some time and his proposal to have three resort casinos licensed was defeated last year only due to the opposition from then House Speaker Sal DiMasi.
With DiMasi's departure, the issue has shifted dramatically. It seems no longer to be a question of if we will have casinos in this state - but, when?
Opponents say that gambling is addictive. But an equally important question may also be - why now?
The casinos to the south of us in Connecticut are no longer producing the revenue that they once did and some may even say they are struggling. The Globe recently reported that Foxwoods, the former success story in the industry, has laid off 6 percent of its workers and has seen revenues from slot machines plunge.
The gaming industry seems to be hurting at the moment. So, some may wonder how this proposed plan could help our economy.
The question right now might be - are casinos the safest bet for Massachusetts?
Copyright 2009 - Claudette Millette, President, TheBuyersCounsel - 800-392-1446, E-mail
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