Many Are Disappointed That Gambling Expansion In Massachuetts Bill Did Not Unify

August 5, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

The lack of compromise among the Massachusetts legislature has caused those who were in favor of casino expansion to be very upset at the fact that nothing was finalized.

The Legislative session is over an the casino expansion in the state will have to wait until the next go around.

“The leaders of state government ought to be ashamed of themselves,’’ landscaper Robert Young, who is a member of a group which made the effort and lobbied for a casino. “They all agreed on 99 percent of the bill, and then they let their egos get in the way.”

Many fingers were being pointed after it was determined that no compromise would be reached in time by the closing of the legislative session, beginning with governor Deval Patrick.

“My members are unbelievably disappointed and angry,’’ remarked Mark Erlich, who is the executive secretary, working for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

“We never thought casinos were a silver bullet,” he added, “but to the degree any economic development gets stopped, that’s fewer jobs for people to look forward to.”

This is a constant theme for casino expansion, as often many forms and amendments and referendums are usually constructed prior to the passing of a unified bill.  Examples of this have come in Ohio Casinos, Pennsylvania Casinos and Maryland Casinos.

Critics of the the legislature failing to pass a bill state that this will likely cost Massachusetts an opportunity, as it will leave them behind their neighbors like Pennsylvania Casinos, which recently implemented table games back in the first part of July.

“You do reduce your competitiveness by coming in later,’’ remarked Clyde Barrow, who is a professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and researches the gambling industry. “You end up with more casinos in the same market, and the size of the casinos you could site would be scaled back considerably.’’

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