Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gaming is coming to Massachusetts

I don’t see a repeat of last July, when the senate president, speaker of the house, and governor all agreed that they wanted to legalize class III gaming, but couldn’t get it done.

Governor Patrick was pushing for up to three resort casinos but didn’t support slots at race tracks, often dubbed “racinos.” Speaker DeLeo, who had two race tracks in his district, was insisting on two racinos on top of the three resort casinos. Senate President Murray gaveled the passing of a bill that excluded slot parlors, but the senate and house ultimately passed DeLeo’s version of the bill, which Patrick amended.

Because the bill was sent to the gov so late in the session, his amendments essentially killed it. Murray declared an end to the combative back-and-forth, knowing that she would not have the votes to convene a formal session after July 31st.

A year later, it seems that the stars are aligning. The two race tracks in DeLeo’s district, Wonderland Dog Track—which was relegated to off track betting after the November 2008 ballot question ended greyhound racing—was sold to Suffolk Downs. And there is apparent interest on the part of the Wampanoag Tribe to buy Raynham Park, the other dog track that voters raised their leg on.

Those developments will dissipate some of the interbranch rancor and leave the team of three with a compromise that will be rolled out next month. The votes are still there in the house and senate, so my sense of it is that Rhode Island and Connecticut are not getting another reprieve this year.


  1. Yeah, I'll bet you three-to-one that we'll have gambling soon.

  2. Not likely to happen anytime soon. Rhode Island will surely block it. They are already moving forward to ensure no Indian gaming comes to Mass. http://wampaleaks.blogspot.com/2011/06/rhode-island-takes-steps-to-block.html

  3. As you surely know, Rhode Island is the 'home' of Carcieri v Salazar.

    As such, it would seem that you would be aware of the significance of the Mashpee Wampanoags' plight.

    In addition, I would call your attention to the Hawaii decision that is being ignored:

    Within weeks of the 8-1 Carcieri v Salazar
    decision, a second strike on fee to trust was issued. This time it came from a case
    originating in the state of Hawaii.
    In the 9-0 decision on Hawaii v. the Office of
    Hawaiian Affairs. Justice Alito wrote, "It would
    raise grave constitutional concerns" Congress sought to "cloud Hawaii's title to its
    sovereign lands" after it had joined the
    "We have emphasized that Congress cannot,
    after statehood reserve or convey....lands that
    have already been bestowed upon a state".
    How many readers of this paper
    could be effected by issues concerning
    land that has been "bestowed upon
    a state"; as an original colony, through
    disestablished territory or
    when the territory entered into

    As far as Tribal Gaming, that says it all.

    The Mashpee Wampanoags have no historical ties to the claims they are pursuing. It is my understanding that the only ties that are valid are those claimed in their pursuit of federal recognition - Mashpee.

    Tribal Gaming is a complex legal specialty that is filled with misinformation and propaganda.

    The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe can pretend that they have a right to build where ever, but they don't.

    That being said, it would seem that Twin River's own scare tactics have backfired in bankruptcy court.

    Gambling is not economic development. Gambling is NOT a tourist attraction.

    Gambling, slot barns and slot parlors provide low wage jobs, many part time and transient.

    Slot machines removes jobs from the local economy, sending $$$ out of state or overseas.

    We need good, sustainable jobs that provide a future, that we can be proud to work.

    85% of new job creation comes from small businesses.

    Local businesses offer a multiplier effect - your local mechanic goes to the local barber who buys vegetables from a local farm stand that hires a local electrician and so on.

    Now it's time for legislators to focus on real job creation.

    If the legislature performed an INDEPENDENT COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS, that has never been conducted on the Commonwealth, the costs and impacts would be available.

    Anyone who defends the 'compromise' legislation that was passed on July 31, 2010, hasn't read the grossly flawed legislation and is perhaps unaware of the pages of ERRATA contained.

    That's the pitfall of passing hastily constructed 'stuff' without time to digest and review, much less debate.


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