House Speaker Roberts DeLeos Gaming Proposal Receives Approval from Joint Committee

Massachusetts legislators have been discussing the merits of expanded gaming for several years. On April 9th, 2010, the state moved closer to realizing Governor Deval Patrick's goal of introducing casino facilities to the state. Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo introduced a new proposal last week that would allow two new casino facilities in the state.

Aside from that, the four horse racing tracks in the state would be permitted to install seven hundred fifty slot machines. The slot machines are expected to generate additional income for the racing tracks. The Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies decided in favor of the bill. The committee had 12 votes in favor of the proposal and two votes against it.

Senator Susan Tucker, who has been a long time gambling opponent, is one of those two individuals that voted against the proposal. Although the proposal gets the support of the Joint Committee, it is not exactly what Gov. Patrick envisioned when he first assumed office.

Gov. Patrick proposed a grander gaming expansion plan in 2009 but it was dismissed by legislators. Patrick's gaming plan did not include slot machines for state horse racing tracks. At the time of Gov. Deval Patrick's proposal, Salvatore DiMasi was the House Speaker and was opposed to gaming expansion.