Looming Gambling Veto is Deval Patrick’s Moment of Truth as Governor

(An important decision, no doubt. - promoted by Bob Neer)

For those of us who have been working for years to oppose the expansion of predatory gambling in Massachusetts, the last few months and weeks have brought a strange combination of horror and satisfaction.   Horror, because we have seen so many otherwise reasonable — and progressive — legislators accept the misleading or downright false information that has been force-fed to them by lobbyists,  racetrack owners, and secretive billionaires.    Satisfaction, because the whole tawdry process — of closed meetings, illogical argumentation, self-delusion and unfettered greed — is finally being aired on television and the newspapers every day.  

The arguments about the damage slot machines will inflict on individuals, small businesses, and local communities are starting to sink in, so that even long-time Democrats who have tended to think of gambling as a question of personal choice are starting to feel a groaning sensation in their guts.   They are starting to remember that the Democratic Party officially voted at their June 2009 convention against slot machines in Massachusetts.   And no wonder: the numbers are horrific.    


Let’s run through them again.   Three casinos at 3,000 to 5,000 slots each equals as many as 15,000 for the state.   The compromise proposal seemed like it was cutting the numbers of slot barns from four to two, but it also doubled the number of slots they can  have — an amazing sham — so that is another 3,000.

Since most slot machines — which run 24/7 — pull about $300 a day out of people’s pockets, that is a direct drain of $2 billion on local economies.  Then, because Native American tribes are allowed to build the same kind of gambling facilities that have been approved for the rest of the state, we can easily predict two more casinos.   That brings the total to five casinos, two slot barns, and as many as 28,000 slots machines draggin $3,000,000,000 out of the economy every year.

What has been even more shocking is that even though legislators paid lip service to the idea that the bill would have negative effects, they refused to commission an independent cost-benefit analysis that would have detailed the actual costs of regulation, law enforcement,  community mitigation, addiction services,  lost lottery revenues, increased crime, embezzlement, and social destruction to families.   Why?  Because, as Jack Nicholson said, they couldn’t handle the truth.   They grabbed on to a single number of 15,000 jobs produced by pro-casino consultants and used it in every speech and statement as a shield to rational thought.

Which leads us back to Deval Patrick, a man many of us have admired since he appeared in public life.   Some of us worked as hard as possible for him, beginning early in the cycle, because we believed in his three stated principles: no financial gimmicks, focus on long-term solutions, and always stand for the idea that the people of the Commonwealth, were “all in this together.”  

This is why many of his supporters were shocked when, in 2007, he appeared in Gardiner Auditorium to defend the idea of three “resort casinos” — a lovely term whose benefits have rarely materialized in the many states where lobbyists shilled for the concept.

He later introduced some nuance after learning more about slots, known as the “crack cocaine” of the gambling industry.   The benefits of casinos, he insisted, were still real (even though casinos rely for their profits on addicted gamblers), but the proposed slot barns being promoted by racetrack owners were too dangerous.  

The House and Senate then put themselves through months of contortions.  The House introduced their bill on April Fool’s Day and rammed it through without hearings on April 14, the one-year anniversary of the murder of Julissa Brisman who was allegedly killed in a theft to fuel the gambling debts of  Philip Markoff.   The Senate announced that they would do things differently, so they released their bill on a Friday and held one day of hearings the following Tuesday.    The bill came within six votes of failing in the Senate, which would have killed off the whole prospect.

For the last few weeks the House and the Senate have tangled about their respective formulas for distributing large amounts of public money to private interests.   They finally produced a bill that is a clear win for the Speaker Robert DeLeo, who has staked his entire public reputation and Speakership on getting what he wants on this issue.  

Offering to resolve the matter, Deval Patrick suddenly switched positions again– another disappointment — and announced that now he was for three casinos and one slot barn – still as many as 16,000 slots.

What did his offer get him?   DeLeo tonight assembled his followers on the Grand Staircase and openly challenged the governor to exercise his veto.    The Speaker is so confident of his power and so certain that he is right that he has just kicked sand in the governor’s face.

So what will the governor do?  Cave in to the Speaker’s demands and sign the bill.   Or veto it outright, and let the legislature attempt an override.   The Speaker has the votes in the House, but an override could fail in the Senate.   I am sure that the Governor’s political advisors are being flooded with threats from unions and others that a veto would cost Deval Patrick a second term.

I suppose that’s true.   It might.    It is also true that Charlie Baker, who has been a little slow on the uptake, might transform his tepid “one casino, maybe” position into a sustained attack that will dampen the enthusiasm of progressives and independents for the re-election of Patrick.   The argument runs both ways.

That is why the governor should now do what is right: stand up for the principles that got him into office, accept his responsibility for having steered the legislature towards this brink, and now pull them back courageously with a decisive veto of this whole appalling bill.

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38 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. It'll be his funeral if he does veto it.

    • It might be his epiphany

    • Maybe candor is required

      The Casino Cheerleaders have relentlessly repeated the false  buzzwords so that most folks accept and believe them with little consideration.

      From What's the big hurry? written by Scott Harshbarger and Michael Dukakis:

      The number of jobs the proposed legislation would create has been wildly exaggerated. We are told that two casinos and four racinos will net about 16,000 construction and permanent jobs. But in Indiana it takes 10 riverboats, one casino and two racinos to generate 16,000 current jobs and Louisiana requires 18 casinos to employ 17,268, according to the American Gaming Association.

      Michigan's three casinos net 8,568 permanent jobs and New Mexico's five racinos employ less than 2,000 people.

      In Las Vegas, it takes 266 casinos to bring in $11.6 billion in gross revenue, which translates into $924 million in tax revenue. Even the $300 million to $600 million now estimated here is a stretch based on that data.

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

      Slot Barns provide low wage dead end jobs.

      The unions brought 3 members from Atlantic City to testify at the Senate Ways & Means Committee Hearing. They spoke of the great benefits derived from union membership and wonderful wages.

      One Senator listened quietly and finally asked what the starting pay was.

      The panel looked like deer in the headlights!

      They sputtered and hesitated until finally one panelist indicated the starting pay was ABOUT $10 an hour.

      From my testimony, Beacon Hill Testimony: Where is your proof? :

      Sands Bethlehem Casino Resort is building a 300 room hotel whose construction will employ 350 people.

      Ball State University:

      ...found the average annual salary of a racino employee is less than $14,000. This was near minimum wage at the time of the study.

      From Recent Study Examines Poverty in Atlantic City that's worth reading in its entirety:

      The round-theclock nature of casino work, coupled with a lack of enough safe, affordable child care, affects the ability of employees with children, particularly single parents, to maintain their jobs. Finally, the low-skill service jobs available in casinos or other industries may not provide enough income to escape poverty. Residents often noted that they or someone they knew held two or three casino jobs in order to make ends meet.

      One of the most striking quotes is here: Race to the bottom....

      Las Vegas' crime rate is 1,040 percent higher than Branson's and 15.7 times higher than Bloomington's, Grinols reported, although both destinations draw far more visitors per resident than does Las Vegas.

      I hope the Governor has the wisdom to recognize his error in supporting this flawed legislation.

      One can always hope!  

    • Really??

      I don't think so.  I think he looks very good by taking the course of action he's on: he's sticking to a position that he has clearly outlined for a long time; he's standing up to the legislature and the lousy, insider deals that were cut in that bill; and he's pleasing the base by staving off the advent of any kind of expanded gambling in MA.

      • absolutely, I also want to add ...

        Charlie Baker's response by comparison, the lege came up with something different than what Baker wanted, with closed door meetings, no bid slots in the speakers district, etc. so what does Mr. Reform do?  Attack Patrick.  What's he advocating for?  Backroom deals?

      • What insider deals?

        can you name the insider deals? Wasn't the Governor proposing just the same thing (minus slots) just a few years ago?

        The Governor delivered the momentum for casinos to this state when he filed his bill in 2007 - and it has never ceased - the only difference is that there is now a new Speaker who supports the premise of expanding gaming.

        Just because the House decided to introduce racinos to the mix does not make the Governor free of this. Lets not put the blame on the legislature for the woes of casino gaming - it truly belongs to the Governor.  

    • Rate my above comment $quot;4$quot; if you want.

      But have fun with Governor Baker and a legislature that can't override a veto.  

      • ROFL

        You discredit yourself suggesting we'll lose our veto-proof margins because of this vote. I sincerely doubt this will make an ounce of difference, especially given that Baker's pretty much where Deval's at on the casino issue (actually --- he wants fewer casinos!) --- and there's really no huge numbers difference, playing the percentages, between Republicans and Democrats in the House over this issue.

        That kool-aid's looking mighty tasty -- what kind of flavor is it? Cherry?  

    • Vetoing $quot;no bid$quot; sweet heart contracts

      that pour hundreds of millions of dollars into a few politically powerful investors is unpopular?

      Really?

      That pulse you think you feel of the Massachusetts voter? I think it's really your alarm clock. Time to wake up.  

  2. Patrick sends it back with no slots ...

    Patrick: they agreed with 3 resort casinos, so let's move on those.  Disagree on slots, readdress slots when agreed upon, but don't hold up casinos.

    That's not going to happen, so casinos have been shelved for a few months, see ya back here in 2011.

  3. A veto would be incredible...

    ...but i'm not going to get my hopes up. This is after all the same pro-casino-industry governor who introduced the original casino plan.

    If i had listened a bit more carefully during his last campaign i wouldn't have been so disappointed in that decision. He wants casinos, and he probably doesn't actually care about slots either way.

    Deval is a casino guy. He'll veto whatever he can get a guarantee on being overridden on.

    • I don't understand this comment at all.

      He wants casinos, and he probably doesn't actually care about slots either way.

      Deval is a casino guy. He'll veto whatever he can get a guarantee on being overridden on.

      Huh?  He's going way out on a limb because of slots.  The easiest course is just to sign the bill and claim that we can manage the downside of slots, but he has said he won't do that.

      As for a veto override, that's not going to happen.  The vote in the Senate was 25-15, way short of 2/3, even if they came back into session, which they won't do.  Unless the Gov signs this bill (which he won't), it's dead for the year.

      • David - WAS there a double cross?

        I was out of town, and may have missed a beat in negotiations.

        At one point, Patrick said he'd go along with ONE racino and the casinos IF the lege enacted CORI reform and wind energy siting.

        I think they DID enact CORI?

        But then the final product had TWO racinos, so Patrick will veto.  But the Lege seemed to think that since they HAD done his other bills, he'd compromise, and more fools them.

        Is that an accurate sequence?

      • $quot;way short$quot;?

        Getting to 2/3 from 25-15 is TWO votes.  Might be hard to find, but it's only 2.

      • Sorry if I am mistaken about the procedures here

        ...but I thought it was a given that they would call a special session. If that happens, they can probably override the Governor.

        The vote in the Senate was 25-15, way short of 2/3, even if they came back into session, which they won't do

        The House has an easily veto-proof majority and Senate is maybe... two votes away? (25 to 15 is 62.5%). I think they could wrangle up two votes with all the pressure of the pro-casino croud. If the Governor vetoes, then to me the question is only if Murray brings them back into session, and I'm not going to rule it out.

        My (cynical) thought I guess was that Patrick would veto to look good for the left, but Murray and DeLeo would do whatever they could to get the override.

  4. Does anyone else hope that

    it's slightly possible that Patrick has changed his mind on the whole thing, having finally seen the real issues in this debate, and knows the only way to totally kill this is to do what he did - send this back "with amendment" without ANY race slots KNOWING that Murray doesn't want to go back into session, and DeLeo won't bother if it has no racinos at all?

    In other words, deliberately killing the bill because it's just the right thing to do and he knows it now?

    I know it's highly unlikely, but I can hope right? I want the Governor to be smarter than me, and on this issue, I feel he hasn't been. Not that I prize my intellect that highly, but honestly, I've never seen a more pile o' doctored revenue numbers than what the casino proponent use. They are so full of shit, I can see through it, and dammit, if I can see through it, why can't the Governor??

    It's like when Bush was drumming up the Iraq war, and I, who was following the news carefully at the time, could see through each and every one of his lies (Knight-Ridder anyone?), and was sooo so SOOO frustrated that our Dems in Congress couldn't or wouldn't see it. :(

    • Lynne - if he doesn't sign or veto, the bill as passed becomes law in 10 days.

      • Not that familiar with lawmaking

        I've been out of town as well and I am not that familiar with lawmaking.  So I looked it up and found this link on lawmaking in Massachusetts.  

        Following enactment, the bill goes to the governor, who may sign the bill into law, allow it to become law without signing it (if the governor holds the bill for ten days without taking any action while the legislature is in session, it becomes law without his or her signature), veto it, or return it to the legislature with recommended changes. If the legislature has concluded its yearly session, and the governor does not sign the bill within ten days, it dies. This is referred to as a "pocket veto." This ten-day period includes Sundays and holidays, even if they fall on the tenth day, and it begins the day after the legislation is laid on the governor's desk.

        I thought the legislature was not in session, but does the reference "concluded its yearly session" refer to the calendar year?  

  5. I see the Governor's veto as

    a political win.

    The Governor can argue that he's not under thumb of the legislature, and  his veto was for the good of the Commonwealth as a whole. Maybe he is a bit of a reformer after all. Politically, these are benefits for Patrick.

    The implication is that DeLeo is just another Massachusetts house speaker ready to sacrifice the good of the Commonwealth to reward his supporters.

    Unions mad? Blame DeLeo.

    Want casinos? Pressure DeLeo. Get him to accept the Patrick's amendment.

    BTW, I'm not sure how much union votes will matter on this one. Union money might matter, but teachers will vote for the Governor regardless of casinos. Cops are at best a mixed bag; many locals are supporting Cahill. I don't know how many construction workers actually vote Democrat.

  6. Some insider deals are good

    I don't see the sleaze in letting the racetracks remain at the heart of the gambling industry in Massachusetts. It's a matter of cultural and labor continuity. If that makes it easier for certain guys to make a killing, so be it. We give sweet deals all the time to native entities because they are established in their fields. Universities, e.g.

    It makes sense if you're against all casino/slot gambling, to hope the governor vetoes the whole thing over this issue. I'm much more swayed by the whole anti-casino argument than I am by this issue of competitive bidding for the slots. If this has to happen, I want a sweet new complex at Suffolk Downs that preserves the racetrack and has walkable connections to the neighborhood.

    • That's a very silly argument

      A few thoughts

      1 - Comparing giving an incentive to a university to study finding a cure to cancer because they're the ones who have the intellectual capital to study that, for example, to giving race tracks slots, because they already have gambling, is actually asinine.

      First off, how is race track betting in anyway similar to slots? Secondly, why not give it to convenience stores? Seems to me they're the ones that are actually profitable when it comes to gambling in Massachusetts -- the dog tracks were losing millions upon millions a year. The horse racing industry is only a few years away from being the the next dog track industry. If this is all about 'know-how,' either the state lottery runs it or convenience stores do. How politically popular do you think slots would be in every bar, restaurant and casino across Massachusetts would be?

      Thirdly, it doesn't seem all that tricky to me to install a few slot machines and make some serious kaching. I somehow doubt the race tracks are the only ones who could figure it out -- it's not exactly curing cancer.

      2 -

      I want a sweet new complex at Suffolk Downs that preserves the racetrack

      If you think putting a casino at Suffolk Downs will preserve the horse racing industry in Massachusetts, I have a bridge to sell you. My prediction: If Suffolk Downs ever gets a casino, the track will be closed sooner than if they were never allowed slots to begin with. History is on my side: when race tracks become racinos, they have every incentive in the world to ditch the tracks and, as people should well know, the gambling lobby is well known for getting what it wants.

      3 - Finally,

      It makes sense if you're against all casino/slot gambling, to hope the governor vetoes the whole thing over this issue. I'm much more swayed by the whole anti-casino argument than I am by this issue of competitive bidding for the slots.

      I'm glad you ultimately feel that way, but I think you find yourself in the distinct minority over the concept that it's okay to give sweetheart no-bid deals that will pour hundreds of millions into the pocket of a few politically powerful individuals. Not only is such a thing in all actuality rare at the state level, but when it does happen, it's universally detested.

      • correction

        "bar, restaurant and convenience store" is what I meant to write as the last sentence of my second thought.  

      • these facilities have deep roots

        You know what, the Suffolk Downs plan is for one of the full casinos, and doesn't need the slot license, as far as I can tell. The racinos would be Raynham and Plainridge. My bad for mixing those two sides of the issue. I used Suffolk as my example because it's the place I'll want to go.

        I'm not arguing the tracks have special expertise to run slots or games, or even that they will save horse racing (though they deserve that chance). I'm saying there is already a privately owned gambling industry in this state, one that is not predatory and that is deeply rooted in place and culture.

        If you despise the racetracks, and don't consider gambling a legitimate cultural activity, that's fine. But a lot of people do, and have for generations. If racing is fading out, and casinos/slots are coming in (worse luck, literally), I would like to see a process that helps bridge between the two.

        I think the state should count the longtime presence of these institutions as indicators of reliability, rather than just maximizing short-term returns.  

        • Hrm

          I'm not arguing the tracks have special expertise to run slots or games

          I'm pretty sure you did:

          We give sweet deals all the time to native entities because they are established in their fields. Universities, e.g.

          It's not that important, but I don't see any other way to take that. We only give "sweet heart" deals to "established" organizations and companies when they're the only ones with the intellectual capacity to do it, otherwise it's open bid season. Furthermore, I don't think many of those deals are "sweet heart" deals -- more like fair deals for services provided, or some kind of credits to nonprofits in need, neither of which are really "sweat heart deals." Cognos was a sweet heart deal and it got DiMasi indicted and the state was forced to get its money back.

          You know what, the Suffolk Downs plan is for one of the full casinos, and doesn't need the slot license, as far as I can tell. The racinos would be Raynham and Plainridge.

          This is why the "compromise" between the House and Senate was still a no-bid contract, because Suffolk/Wonderland wanted the full-scale casino license from the very beginning. People don't like no-bid contracts, for good reason. Patrick was right to kill it -- and I'd say that even if I wasn't diametrically opposed to slots in Massachusetts.

          If you despise the racetracks, and don't consider gambling a legitimate cultural activity, that's fine.

          I don't despise the existing race tracks, and I never despised the people working for them. I voted for the ban on the dog tracks because it was horrendously cruel on the dogs. I haven't really seen the same case made about horse racing -- given the fact that these horses cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in many cases, it seems they get treated a lot better and with more dignity. However, how I feel about horse racing is really moot. The fact of the matter is they're not drawing in what they used to and horse tracks have been going bankrupt all around the country... which brings me to the final sentence I'd like to quote from you and discuss.

          I'm not arguing... slots or games... will save horse racing (though they deserve that chance)

          I think that you are -- if you're arguing that we need to save Suffolk Downs, and Suffolk Downs is a horse track, what other argument could you be making?

          Beyond that, though, the idea that "they deserve that chance," as if they don't have it already, is really silly. The state is not denying them the chance to save their track -- they're a business, like any other. It's not the state's responsibility to keep them afloat or bail them out. It's their responsibility make horse racing profitable. The state didn't go to Circuit City and try to say, "well, maybe selling electronics isn't really your business  here -- but you have hundreds of employees working in Massachusetts and we want to keep you open.... so how about slots?" I'm sure Circuit City could have stayed nice and profitable in Massachusetts if it was given a no-bid contract for slots, but we didn't do that. Nor should we do that to Suffolk Downs.

          Whatever happens to Suffolk Downs, it's not the end of the world. Wonderland used to be a theme park before it became a race track, and once it's closed for good, it'll be something else. Suffolk Downs can easily morph into something else, too, but we shouldn't allow that "something else" to be casinos, because they just don't make sense for Massachusetts (or pretty much anywhere else). Then again, maybe they can find some way to make horse racing sexy again... I just doubt it and it's not my problem.  

          • OK, last time

            It was you who equated my phrase "established in their field" with expertise on a par with cancer research. I'm talking about the deference we give to private institutions that have cultural roles and longtime labor forces.

            And I explicitly said I want to see tracks helped by this, even if the racing eventually dies. It matters to me that the tracks be given a chance to survive in the short term, rather than bring in outside-owned industry that will put the nails in their coffin.

            We disagree on a simple, clear matter here, which I don't think requires further argument. You see the tracks as businesses like any other, no different to a big-box retail chain headquartered elsewhere. I see them as having social and cultural capital that both earns them favorable treatment and makes them more promising (and accountable) long-term stewards of the small-bet business.  

            • Okay

              It was you who equated my phrase "established in their field" with expertise on a par with cancer research. I'm talking about the deference we give to private institutions that have cultural roles and longtime labor forces.

              That's a little bit more clear, but I don't really agree with it. There are very few industries that we give sweet-heart deals to because of "cultural roles and longtime labor forces." Honestly, though I'm no supreme source on the matter (far from it), I can't think of any.

              And I explicitly said I want to see tracks helped by this, even if the racing eventually dies. It matters to me that the tracks be given a chance to survive in the short term, rather than bring in outside-owned industry that will put the nails in their coffin.

              I just think it's a weird opinion -- why tracks? If you want to save them, even if they aren't tracks anymore... why? Why is it so important that the state should offer a no-bid bailout to them, should we let the slot industry in?

              I understand there's a human reluctance to change, and that I guess seeing tracks as slot parlors seems like less "change" than opening p bidding, but if it ever does go through, there's no intrinsic reason why it should be race tracks that are given preference for slots. I hope it never, ever goes through, but almost nothing good comes out no-bid contracts.

              I see them as having social and cultural capital that both earns them favorable treatment and makes them more promising (and accountable) long-term stewards of the small-bet business.

              Like when Wonderland didn't pay its taxes or liquor license fee for ~2 years? I'm just not seeing it. You can associate social importance to the race tracks, but they really aren't any different than other businesses. Businesses only have social and cultural importance to those who are impacted by them. I think it's important to value and recognize the fact that businesses -- and the jobs they employ -- do have social and cultural significance to those people, but that doesn't mean they warrant a no-bid state bailout. The state's already gone through extraordinary measures to help them -- including passing simulcast extensions, liquor licenses, offers to retrain their employees (which those tracks turned down), etc.  

        • Where does this idea come from?

          You know what, the Suffolk Downs plan is for one of the full casinos, and doesn't need the slot license, as far as I can tell.

          The Suffolk Downs casino proposal includes up to 5000 slot machines. Even if the casino license disallowed slots, the gambling lobbyists would immediately begin pressing for removal of that restriction, and would persist until it was gone. Slots are the most profitable activity a casino has, and a casino operator is not going to do without them willingly.  

          • Yes, the casinos will have lots of slots

            The full casino includes slots, of course. By "slot license" I meant the license for only slots - the "slot barn" ppl talk about.

            Although I see DeLeo told Brian McGrory that he is still operating on the assumption that Suffolk/Wonderland might be interested in a slot parlor alone.  

        • If you're going to suggest that we subsidize the racing industry, let's

          interject some reality, not simply speculate.

          Tracks around the country are closing, slots or not.

          You might find this pertinent -- http://middlebororemembers.blo...

          House Speaker "Racino" DeLeo pretends life support makes sense, as evidence elsewhere proves otherwise --

          The homestretch for racing It's not just the casino business that's hurting in New Jersey. Horse racing there, and around the country, is a dying breed.

          Churchill Downs (Nasdaq: CHDN), the operator of the venerable Kentucky Derby, has suffered several years of declining racing revenues, while the other two legs of racing's Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, almost went out of business this year. Penn National stepped up to save the Preakness, while cash-strapped New York loaned Belmont $25 million to finish out the 2010 season. New York track operator Empire Resorts (Nasdaq: NYNY) is also facing hard times.

          Off to the glue factory Part of Christie's plan is to sell off The Meadowlands racetrack in north Jersey, next to Giants Stadium, ending the state's $30 million-a-year subsidy to it along with centrally situated Monmouth Park. The plan comes down to focusing the state's gambling efforts in one area. If you want to be separated from your money, you'll need to go to Atlantic City to do it.

          There are a few more articles about racinos here: http://middlebororemembers.blo...

  7. Can someone confirm the following?

    I could have sworn I heard on the news last night that the Governor basically said never mind to his compromise idea and yanked it off the table.  From the soundbite they showed it sounds like he is now saying no way no how is he going to sign any bill that includes any racinos.

    • Yep

      That's what he said, per the Globe today... to me, that was the Governor saying, basically, I offered a compromise, and you [DeLeo] tried to strong-arm me. Now, it's my way or nothing.

      Kudos to him.

  8. Governor Right, Speaker Wrong

    I know what Patrick is thinking about this.

    He's thinking that 3 new resort-style casinos will create jobs in construction, and then jobs at card tables, restaurants, hotels, and for security. There will be COMPETITIVE BIDDING on who gets the licenses, and it will be in 3 different parts of the state, to draw different crowds to each place.

    "Resort-style" is short hand for a large facility with both slots and "Table Games", and restaurants, hotels, and stores in one huge building.

    The concern with setting up what's being called "Slot Barns" is that there will be very few new jobs created for construction and for staffing the facilities, and not having competitive bidding could eliminate the state getting a better deal from all the competition.

    Patrick has a broad perspective that is concerned with the state as a whole and the big picture.

    DeLeo has his supporters at Suffolk Downs, and is willing to sacrifice the greater good of the whole state to that.

    It would be better to have the status quo than to have the wrong kind of thing set up.

    And, hopefully, there will be a movement to get a Speaker that looks at the good of the whole state and not just his cronies. It is time for leadership that considers the big picture.  

    • For $600 Million, you get a SLOT BARN!

      "Resort-style" is short for a SLOT BARN.

      $600 Million might sound like a lot of money and surely in your bank account it is, but not when considering the exaggerated claims of Gambling Proponents.  

      The three states with the highest unemployment rates in the nation are Michigan, Nevada, and Rhode Island, all home to casinos or racinos. With decreased earnings, fewer gamblers, and limited casino borrowing, layoffs are hitting their casinos.

      The number of jobs the proposed legislation would create has been wildly exaggerated. We are told that two casinos and four racinos will net about 16,000 construction and permanent jobs. But in Indiana it takes 10 riverboats, one casino and two racinos to generate 16,000 current jobs and Louisiana requires 18 casinos to employ 17,268, according to the American Gaming Association.

      The states that most closely mirror the current legislation suggest that the real results will be but a fraction of the job estimates we have been hearing. Michigan's three casinos net 8,568 permanent jobs and New Mexico's five racinos employ less than 2,000 people.

      Maybe you're new to this issue, but careful examination of the facts would reveal that the costs exceed the benefits. Who is willing to subsidize wealthy gambling investors for a business whose business model is based on ADDICTION?  

      What I discovered was the more I learned about SLOT BARNS the more I opposed them.

      Middleboro Remembers

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