By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Legislator says casino bill is dead

Tim Faulkner of GateHouse News Service has an interview with state Rep. David Flynn, D-Bridgewater, who says Gov. Deval Patrick’s three-casino proposal won’t even come up for a vote. Faulkner writes:

“The casino bill isn’t going anywhere,” Flynn said. “I find very little support for it from members of the house.”…

The casino bill, he said, will receive an “adverse ruling,” thus blocking a vote on the bill….

Flynn said Rep. Daniel Bosley, D-North Adams, head of the Economic Development Committee “will issue an adverse report, preventing the house from voting on the casino bill.”

Flynn has been pushing a “racino” bill, which would allow 2,500 slot machines at the state’s four racetracks. He claims Bosley will allow a vote on that bill. I hope it’s defeated.

On the larger issue, though, this is very good news indeed. Bosley and House Speaker Sal DiMasi have been signaling for months that, at some point, they would act to kill Patrick’s proposal. If Flynn’s information is solid, then it looks like that time has arrived.

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16 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    The racino bill would probably be a fairly serious setback for the anti-casino crowd.Definitively allowing Class III in the state clears a significant hurtle to the Indian Casino, no?gary

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Gary: I would think it would. Very dangerous territory — many legislators are pals with racetrack owners. If the racino bill passes, that definitely opens the door to a Native American casino. It won’t be built in Middleborough for a whole host of reasons, but one could certainly be built somewhere.On the other hand, I trust Bosley to some extent. He has said over and over that we can keep casino gambling out as long as we don’t legalize Class III gambling. So I hope he’s not going to do anything that would open the door.

  3. dan bosley

    Dan, First, even an adverse report comes to the floor and will be debated vigorously, should that happen. Second, allowing Flynn’s bill a hearing and taking action doesn’t mean it will pass. Allowing slots at tracks would have the same effect of empowering native casinos to ask for slot machines. I have been clear in the past that the real issue is class III and that means any iteration of slot machine legalization.For more on this issue, you may want to visit http://danielbosley.blogspot.com/

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Dan: Thank you for checking in. Have you been in touch with Rep. Flynn? It sounds like he doesn’t understand the process.

  5. Gladys Kravitz

    If level III gambling at the tracks is approved, Tribal casino projects, pushed by their non-Indian investors will go forward.And if mega-resort Foxwoods-style casinos start opening up in Massachusetts, who’s going to go to a racino? It would be like shooting themselves in the foot.Maybe the tracks should, instead, open up 50,000 square foot bingo halls, which tribal spokespeople seem to think are so lucrative.

  6. KC

    For heavens sake let them go ahead with slot machines. The punter is not obligated to play.

  7. davidguarino

    Chairman Bosley, not surprisingly, is exactly right. The Speaker has said all along that the Governor’s casino gambling bill would receive a full hearing and some action on the House floor. The Speaker told WBZ’s Carl Stevens yesterday that he expects a vote of the full House sometime after the March 18 hearing but before the full House debates the state budget in late April. … from David Guarino, communications director for Speaker DiMasi.

  8. Peter Porcupine

    DK – it’s my Wampanoag neighbors who are in the catbird seat now. Due to the Governor’s greedy and untenable Three Headed Casino plan, if they do open a casino they will not need to pay the state royalties, as they had agreed to do before the State offered negative comments to the BIA in an efort to advance their own agenda.While I respect Chairman Bosley’s position, and even agree with it, too many others DO favor the Racino plan, on the theory that adding slots at a racetrack is like adding lap dancing at a brothel – neither are desirable, but at least they’re all in the same place. Most legislators aren’t concerned about the Middleboro casino and its possible existance.Truly, together we can build the worst of all possible worlds – bring casino gambling to the state without the state even profiting from it.

  9. Anonymous

    I agree with Gladys Kravitz on the topic of slots at race tracks. If slots are at all legalized, indian tribes and their investors will bring swift litigation so they are included. As for race tracks existing with casino’s…. not a chance, if you allow 2500 slots at tracks and indian casino’s get that amount plus smoking, no taxes, hookers, etc. How long will race tracks last? As for Peter Porcupines comment about the state not getting a piece of the action, the only way a tribal casino could open is with a compact with the state. That’s a fact, don’t believe everything you read in the rag.

  10. Anonymous

    But….How are we going to pay for Governor Patrick’s agenda? Maybe if all who support the governor’s spending plans would voluntarily pay the higher state income tax rate that will prove to those casino supporters that “together, we can” raise the money to support the governor’s agenda without the casinos.

  11. Larz

    How are we going to pay for Governor Patrick’s agenda? How about cutting back? The blinding part about this discussion is that it’s pretty much taken as a NIMBY question affecting the South Shore. But it really should focus on questions of morality and reality. Enticing people of meager means to play games of chance, with false hopes of winning big money is immoral. If everyone were winning, the casino wouldn’t make money. With other states building casinos, the prospect of drawing gamblers from other states is drying up.The state would be a whole lot better off to adopt a supportive, less restrictive attitude toward people starting businesses.— Larz

  12. O-FISH-L

    You same “progressives” that would escort a woman across the continent to ensure her “choice” that her tenth state funded partial birth abortion be performed in Masssachusetts, are the same folks who would deny me my “choice” to go across the street in Middleborough to play a slot machine or take a chance on the roulette wheel. You’re kidding, right?If it’s really about gambling, let’s see you all with your pickets outside of Tim Cahill’s office, ASAP. Otherwise, come clean with your real reasons. The only gambling that has people currently addicted in this state is the stuff run by the state lottery under Tim for Treasurer. Where is the outcry?Those of us who have to increase our carbon footprint by traveling out of state to exercise our freedom of “choice” to casino gamble, are waiting for the libs to speak out for us. One can only imagine where you folks would stand if a pregnant 12 year old Massachusetts girl had to make the “drive of shame” to Ledyard CT, to make her “choice”. Yet the “progressives” who ensure a pre-teen without parental consent doesn’t have to leave Brookline to kill a human life, would force adults to travel out of state to kill an hour on the blackjack table. “Yes We Can.”

  13. Anonymous

    Aside from the fact that O-Fish-I’s comments were blatently written to incite a riot, I would like to point out that we all have a right to choose. O-Fish-I has a right to gamble, to move closer to a casino to decrease the carbon footprint, or to lobby to bring one to Mass. I have a right to choose not to live near a casino with all of the traffic, addiction, and crime associated with this particular business. I also have the right to protest to bringing them to Mass. By doing so, I am excercising my right to choose how and where that I live. O-Fish-I, your right to choose is still intact. Feel free to use it and move to Ledyard.

  14. Anonymous

    O-Fish-I brought up a very good point regarding the Carbon Foot Print. What Environmental studies have been done regarding Clean Air standards in Middleboro? I recall attending one of Kristeen Egans’s (MBTA PM) meeting where she said the SE areas Air Quality standards where already worse than most other areas in MA. Why is Asthma rising at a faster rate in areas near the proposed Middleboro location than others? The answer is simple, Air Pollution such as Ozone, PM2.5 and So2 may not move around like the wind. Adding 50-60k vehicles to this location might violate the Clean Air Act. Has anyone done an Air Quality measurement in Middleboro? Answer NO, because that would kill this project.And would not be Smart Growth.

  15. Anonymous

    Wow,Glady’s nows her stuff. I vote Glady for Governor.

  16. carverchick

    anonymous, Clean air is but one topic that will be addressed at the EIS hearing on March 25th. It is a 6pm at the Middleboro highschool. May I suggest you write a letter with your air quality question and send it to the BIA? The tribe will need to answer these questions and have mitigation in place before a casino can be built. Please write a letter about this. Every concern is a valid one and deserves an answer. You can get information on where to send your letter at casinofacts.org. Better yet, write a letter and make a statement a the hearing.

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