The revived movement for casino gambling in Massachusetts is about to make its big push and House Speaker Bob DeLeo yesterday aligned himself with Governor Deval Patrick and Senate President Therese Murray. With the big three on board it appears to be only a matter of time before they've sold out the Commonwealth. What a shame.
The Globe just did a story last week on how the Connecticut casinos have been hurt by the poor economy and Twin River in Rhode Island has filed for bankruptcy. Further -- and this point cannot be overstated -- most of the profits from a casino will go to out-of-state casino owners and investors. Whether the state's cut is enough to cover all of the improvements and services necessary and to recoup any fall in the lottery's intake is unclear.
But the state's leaders are plowing ahead, with plans for hearings in October and floor debate before the end of the year. The story said that Deleo believes "that slot machines could be installed quickly at the racetracks, bringing in new revenues, while giving casino companies more time to build resort casinos, which would create new construction jobs."
Former House Speaker Sal DiMasi stopped this from happening last year, but he's gone and it looks like the momentum is too much this time.