Gov. Patrick to revise gambling bill

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August 1, 2010, 9:23 pm

(NECN: Tom Langford) - Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is firing back after the legislature sent him a gambling bill it knew he would reject. The big issue centers around two slot parlors.

One day after the Massachusetts Legislature approved a plan to build three casinos and two slot parlors in the state, Governor Deval Patrick is maintaining his opposition to the slot parlors.

Reacting today to the Legislature's vote last night, Patrick said, "Up to three resort style casinos will give us the maximum number of jobs at the highest possible level of wages and benefits."

But as the standoff between the Governor and the Legislature goes on, the economy of the gambling industry is changing -- and suddenly, casinos and slot parlors are no sure bet.

In New England, Foxwoods has 2-billion dollars in debt, Income at Mohegan Sun is down more than 50-percent from last year, Newport Grand in Rhode Island is struggling and Twin River went bankrupt and had to be bailed out by the state.

Richard McGowan, an economics at Boston College explained the trend by saying, "There's a lot more competition with casinos right now... there's an increasing number of states that are turning to casino gambling for revenue. and the pie gets a little bigger each time, but the name of the game is clearly trying to reclaim revenue from other states."
As a result, overall gambling revenues are barely growing.

So don't expect casinos in Massachusetts to be a jackpot win.

McGowan says, "to me, the best outcome is that the state will get revenue. It will be an alternative to raising taxes. But is it going to solve the state's fiscal problems? No it will not."

Tags: robert deleo, Deval Patrick, gambling , casinos, slots, Tom Langford
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