Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Massachusetts Lawmakers Still Not In Agreement On Gambling Bill

Feather News

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert Deleo isn't ready for a compromise with state Senate lawmakers if that compromise means shutting out racetrack owners from installing slot machines in their facilities according to Jessica Van Sack of the Boston Herald.

The Senate passed legislation approving three resort casinos while the House bill calls for two casinos and 750 slot machines at the state's four racetracks. Two of those racetracks are in Deleo's district which could be the major reason why he isn't budging from his position.

The two legislative bodies need to agree on one gambling bill by Saturday before presenting it to Governor Deval Patrick for his signature.

Senate President Therese Murray and Gov. Patrick don't want slot machines at the racetracks and say that permitting the racetracks to install slot machines is akin to a no-bid contract for the racetracks.

Casinos in Massachusetts will hurt the two Indian casinos in Connecticut. It is estimated that between 20 and 25 percent of Mohegan Sun's customers come from Massachusetts while one-third of Foxwoods' patrons are residents of Massachusetts.

The Mohegans have so far spent five million dollars on their foothold for what is likely to become a bid for one of the casinos in Massachusetts, which is far from guaranteed in a competitive bidding process for casino licenses, according to a recent published statement made by an official with the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (Brody).

Three days and counting. Stay tuned to Sunday's media reports for the outcome.