Sunday, June 20, 2010

Massachusetts Senate Bill Drafted And Omits Set Aside Casino For Indian Tribe

Feather News

A Massachusetts Senate committee released on Friday the expanded gambling bill that will be the on the agenda in this week's Senate business.

As expected, the Senate Ways and Means Committee bill calls for three casinos - one in Western Massachusetts, one in Eastern/Central Massachusetts and one in Southeastern Massachusetts. The bill does not include slot machines at racetracks.

So far only one group, which includes the Mohegan Tribe, has publicly announced its intent to open a casino in Western Massachusetts.

One major difference to the Senate bill versus what was expected is that the bill does not guarantee one of the three casinos to an Indian tribe. Instead, the bill gives the governor one year to negotiate a contract with an Indian tribe for one of the casinos.

The bill could change after amendments are discussed this week.

The Massachusetts House passed a bill in April that calls for two casinos and 750 slot machines at the state's four racetracks.

Once the Senate approves a version of expanded gambling legislation, which could happen before the end of this month, the Senate and House would need to iron out the differences in their bills before sending it to the the governor for his signature.