Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Flash: Massachusetts Senate Proposal For Three Casinos To Be Considered

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The Boston Herald reported this afternoon that the Massachusetts Senate is considering draft legislation that calls for three mega-casinos and no slot machines at the state's racetracks in a proposal which differs from legislation already passed in the House that calls for two mega-casino resorts and slot machines at the state's four racetracks.

Today's news of the Senate's draft legislation on expanded gambling, which will be debated next week at the State House, is the first time the public has heard of what the Senate may be proposing.

The Mohegan Tribe intends on applying for a commercial casino license in Palmer, Massachusetts should casinos be legalized. Casino gambling in Massachusetts would likely siphon a significant number of customers from the two Indian casinos in Connecticut. About 20 percent of Mohegan Sun's customers are Massachusetts residents while nearly a third of all Foxwoods' customers are from Massachusetts.

It was reported that one of the three possible mega-resorts that the Senate may propose will be reserved for "a qualified American Indian tribe." There are two federally recognized Indian tribes in Massachusetts: the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe.

In April, the House passed their version of expanded gambling and now its the Senate's turn. Both houses will then need to agree on common legislation before sending a bill for the governor's signature.