Gaining Momentum – Casino legislation appears to be a done deal

House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s expanded gambling bill has made it out of the House Committee on Commerce and will be sent to the full House for a vote next week after being reported favorably.

This is tantamount to the bill passing the house and being sent on to the senate.

In the senate, the bill will be scrutinized and most likely changed.

The senate is said to be disinclined to accept the slot machine mandate. This part of the House bill allows all four remaining tracks operating in Massachusetts to ante up $75 million each – a total of $300 million – for slot licenses.

In addition, the expanded gambling bill allows for two casino licenses at $200 million each.

Suffolk Downs is said to desire one of the casino licenses, and as such, isn’t in a rush to put in slots when the much greater prize is there for the plucking.

The senate may agree.

There is a real animus against slots.

No such animus exists against casinos being built.

For our money, all of the above or part of the above is well worth the effort these days because it gets done with private money – no state funds, no state loans, and no state bonding.

Thousands become employed. New revenues are generated for the state treasury. The cities and towns do a bit better – and abutting cities and towns are better again for the new investment.

Whatever the senate does be assured … the governor will sign the final bill.

Then it will be on to the next challenge for Massachusetts state government.

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