Expanded Gambling Bill Will Make a Difference

August 24, 2011
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The House and the Senate has brought out a piece of legislation from committee concerning expanded gambling. The governor says that he approves of the legislation.

So the stage is set for debate and fine tuning and then passage in the House and the Senate and then to the governor for his signature.

When this bill becomes law, and it is expected that this will happen at the end of September, Massachusetts is on its way to approving as many as three casino licenses, one of which will be located in Suffolk County and most likely at Suffolk Downs.

If this comes to pass, and everything seems to point in the right direction, a casino in this area and two elsewhere will produce a huge stream of new revenue for the state in the amount of hundreds of millions of dollars.

More importantly, the legislation calls for local people to be hired for local jobs and for jobs in general to be created in a big way and for as much as $500 million to be spent by investors at each of three possible locations.

Bottom line – while not panacea or a bonanza – the creation of a casino at Suffolk Downs would put hundreds of people to work and in a big way and virtually overnight. Craftsmen, suppliers, architects, insurance people, everyone in business providing the business items a sprawling casino will need to be built will be used by the owners.

Many unemployed from Everett will be given new hope when a potential casino at Suffolk Downs begins hiring.

There is a way to go in this complicated process but the first big step has been achieved.

The legislation has come out of committee favorably on Beacon Hill – and this is big, big news as we near the end of summer.

If all things are equal, this legislation will find its way to the governor’s desk before the end of September or at the beginning of October.

The man of the hour in all this is House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

He put this together adroitly by making peace with the governor, satisfying the senate president and making his house membership come on board.

Out of the ashes of the debacle last year has come this legislation destined to produce a tremendous new wave of taxes for the state of Massachusetts at a time when we need every dollar we can raise.