Friday, August 6, 2010


Editorial: Answers needed on gaming legislation in Massachusetts
Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Power struggles are not uncommon on Beacon Hill, a place where strong-willed, sometimes self-serving politicians throw their weight around on pet projects that too often benefit the powerful few rather than the commonwealth as a whole.

The battle over casinos in Massachusetts is no exception: The two most powerful state leaders have seemingly fought to a stalemate, in the process stymieing progress and holding the state’s economic development hostage.

Gov. Deval Patrick has refused to approve a package the Legislature sent to him that calls for three resort style casinos and two so-called “racinos,” which would add video slot machines to two race tracks in the state. Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo insists on keeping the slot parlors as part of the legislation. His fight for slot parlors at race tracks is a personal one, as his district includes Suffolk Downs in East Boston and Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere.

In an attempt to seek compromise, Patrick said he would allow one slot parlor, as long as it wasn’t promised to an individual racetrack, which he correctly termed an unfair “no-bid practice.” Indeed, should slot parlors ultimately be included in the legislation, they must be open to a competitive process, just as the resort casinos would be. “I’m not saying they shouldn’t be able to compete. I don’t like slot parlors, but the bigger notion is that the no-bid practice has to end,” the governor said."


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