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Old 09-15-2011, 05:34 AM   #1
TheRifleman
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Proposed MA Casino Developments

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Massachusetts House approves casino gambling
By Mark Arsenault and Noah Bierman, Globe Staff


The Massachusetts House last night overwhelmingly approved casino gambling, bolstering confidence among lawmakers that slot machines and Las Vegas-style table games will be coming to the Commonwealth.

The bill, which passed 123-32 just after 9 p.m., would authorize three “resort” casinos and one slots-only gambling parlor in Massachusetts. The Senate expects to take up the measure later this month and Governor Deval Patrick has signaled initial support.

The first slot parlor could open within a year, with casinos to follow two or more years after that, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said.

“We’re taking a major step in the creation of jobs ,” said DeLeo, a Winthrop Democrat who has made expanded gambling his priority for two years. “We are right now in Massachusetts -- or have been -- in a blue collar depression...this is a workforce that we really have to address.”

Lawmakers have proposed casinos sporadically for decades, but the state’s Puritan heritage, as well as a belief that casinos would take more from the state than they would give back, thwarted previous attempts.

Support grew more substantial over the past two years, due to stubbornly high unemployment and a new consensus of a governor and two legislative chiefs who favor casinos. Last year, a similar bill passed the House and the Senate before a disagreement with Patrick over the size and type of the facilities derailed it.

Lawmakers say the state is desperate for jobs and a new stream of tax money.

“Personally, expanded gambling, I suppose I could take or leave,” said Representative Joseph F. Wagner, a Chicopee Democrat and the lead sponsor of the bill, who confessed his gambling experience is limited to the “occasional game of Keno.” But “I can’t ignore the thousands of jobs and I won’t ignore the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.”

Patrick offered critical support for the bill last month, and has indicated he is inclined to sign it.

“The debate today I think is a long time coming,” Patrick told reporters earlier Wednesday. “There’s a lot I like about the bill and I’ll be interested to see what shape it takes when it reaches my desk.”

Casino developers have spent millions lobbying on Beacon Hill, in hopes of cashing in on the multi-billion dollar industry. Organized labor, desperate for construction and service jobs, also pushed hard.

Though adamant that expanding gambling will do more harm than good, opponents seemed resigned to the outcome after DeLeo, Senate President Therese Murray, and Patrick, all Democrats, united behind a single proposal last month.

“The bill overpromises and it will underperform,” Representative Denise Provost, a vocal opponent, said as she left the House chamber after the vote.

She argued during the debate that as soon as cash-flushed casinos are entrenched in the state’s economy, their owners would deploy armies of lawyers and lobbyists to strong-arm the state into rewriting the casino law to the detriment of taxpayers.

“Once we have married the casino industry they are ours and we are theirs,” said Provost, a Somerville Democrat.

Provost demanded a cost-benefit study, echoing longstanding claims from opponents that previous studies were wired by the casino industry.

Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein, a Revere Democrat, responded by slapping a thick stack of binders on the podium. “These are the studies we’ve done,” she said, holding up one that dated to Governor Jane Swift’s administration a decade ago.

She defended the value of casino jobs, pointing out that she worked her way through college at Wonderland, the former dog racing facility.

“When I keep hearing these aren’t real jobs, I can’t tell you how crazy that makes me,” she said. Casino jobs “put real food on real tables and put real children in real colleges.”

Under the terms of the bill, each casino license would cost at least $85 million and require developers to invest at least $500 million in their resorts. The state would collect one quarter of the casinos’ profits as a tax. The slot parlor would pay a $25 million fee, at minimum, and be required to invest at least $125 million. It would pay a 40 percent tax, plus an additional 9 percent toward increasing purses for the flagging horse racing industry.

The bill gives an Indian tribe, most likely the Mashpee Wampanoag, a year to reach a deal with the governor to open a casino in Southeastern Massachusetts, presuming it can clear several hurdles in federal law. If the tribe can’t reach a deal, the license would be bid on the commercial market.

Lawmakers spent hours tweaking the bill throughout the day, meeting into the night, approving several large amendments written only minutes before they were passed.

Proponents of the casino plan pounded several main points throughout the debate, citing new jobs and revenue and the fact that Massachusetts residents are already gambling, either through the lottery at the corner store, or at out-of-state casinos.

“You can’t legislate everything in life,” said Rep. Paul K. Frost, an Auburn Republican. “People [from Massachusetts] are gaming in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Las Vegas and Atlantic City.”

Opponents pointed to other states that have casinos as also having high rates of suicide and addiction.

“This is the model?” said Representative Ruth B. Balser, a Newton Democrat. “This is the race to the bottom.”

Several opponents conceded the main point of casino supporters—that the state needs more revenue and jobs, but argued that casinos are the wrong solution.

Representative Thomas P. Conroy, a Wayland Democrat and a candidate for his party’s nomination for US Senate, said casinos are out of character with the Bay State’s existing tourism attractions: beaches, natural beauty and Colonial history. “It’s not clear that destination resort casinos are consistent with the overall brand Massachusetts offers...the idea of closed buildings with pumped in air and no windows,” he said.

Representative James Lyons, a Republican from Andover, said past legislatures have resisted the temptations of casinos, and that passing the bill would define the current legislature in history.

“This bill before us proposes a fundamental change in the character of this state,” he said. “If we approve this bill we are turning our backs on history.”
http://www.boston.com/Boston/politic...all&csort=desc

Last edited by TheRifleman; 09-15-2011 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:30 AM   #2
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Re: MA CASINOS Developments

Every time you abuse the caps lock key a puppy dies.

Please, think of the puppies.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:41 AM   #3
TheRifleman
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Re: MA CASINOS Developments

Any thoughts on the CASINOS coming to Mass?

LIKE or Don't Like
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:56 AM   #4
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Re: MA CASINOS Developments

XCASINAiols r liek, wicked cool Or NOT! IDK! LOL!

If you type like an adult, people will speak with about the issues you care about like you are an adult. Otherwise they will presume you are a 14 year old girl talking about Justin Beiber and dismiss what you may have to say.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:19 AM   #5
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Re: MA Casino Developments

I'll take the bait.

I don't think that casinos will cause the world to end. But they definitely have negatives and costs associated with them, which the studies they have performed may or may not be taking into account.

The benefit is obviously revenues, but here is where I pause. Too many legislators are acting like this is the only chance the commonwealth has to raise revenues. Well, what about, ahem, the gas tax? Or collecting sales tax on online purchases? Tolling the roads that the Big Dig actually buried? You may not like these options but they are far more palatable in my mind than casinos which 1) prey off the bottom of society for these "revenues" rather than equitably distributing the burden and 2) entrench a grubby casino interest in MA that we will never be rid of.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:32 AM   #6
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Re: MA Casino Developments

I agree, I find them distasteful as revenue generators, and low on my list of priorities when it comes to that. I'm less concerned about societal harm, though. If we consider the alternative, which is the same people we hope wouldn't gamble in Massachusetts instead getting on buses to RI, NH, and CT to gamble there, I'd say we're better off keeping those folks in state.

Any thoughts on location?
  • Do we go with the Atlantic City route, which is to say, place them in economically distressed locations with the hopes that the entire district improves? That would imply, perhaps New Bedford as a strong candidate.
  • What about the European model, wherein casinos are high end luxury resorts, only for the wealthy? maybe Lennox?
  • Then of course, there's the Las Vegas model, build them where the most people will be, which means right here in Boston. Yuck.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:43 AM   #7
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Re: MA Casino Developments

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Originally Posted by Shepard View Post
I'll take the bait.

I don't think that casinos will cause the world to end. But they definitely have negatives and costs associated with them, which the studies they have performed may or may not be taking into account.

The benefit is obviously revenues, but here is where I pause. Too many legislators are acting like this is the only chance the commonwealth has to raise revenues. Well, what about, ahem, the gas tax? Or collecting sales tax on online purchases? Tolling the roads that the Big Dig actually buried? You may not like these options but they are far more palatable in my mind than casinos which 1) prey off the bottom of society for these "revenues" rather than equitably distributing the burden and 2) entrench a grubby casino interest in MA that we will never be rid of.
I think this will force Foxwoods, MGM and Mohegan in a possible default scenario. I was reading that Mass residents are 33% of the casinos revenue a couple of years ago.
They will have a tough time maintaining themselves unless they are somewhat involved with the other casinos.

Suffolk Downs and Wonderland are located in Revere really has nothing to offer at this point so why not put them their. The problem I see is after a decade of cleaning up Revere it might go right back down the sewer with the rises of the Casino's

My personal opinion, I think I'm against it at this point. Keep them out.
They are not bettering MA Residents it's more like demoralizing them by gambling their hard earned money away.

If they want to reinvent something or rebuild how about trying a new Horse or Dog track with Slots. I like that concept better.

Atlantic City looks like a ghetto these days.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:52 AM   #8
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Re: MA CASINOS Developments

Quote:
Originally Posted by statler View Post
XCASINAiols r liek, wicked cool Or NOT! IDK! LOL!

If you type like an adult, people will speak with about the issues you care about like you are an adult. Otherwise they will presume you are a 14 year old girl talking about Justin Beiber and dismiss what you may have to say.

Statler<

Do I have to put you on my knee and give you a spanking?

Thank you for cleaning up the Thread title.

Last edited by TheRifleman; 09-15-2011 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:54 AM   #9
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Re: MA Casino Developments

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Originally Posted by HenryAlan View Post
I agree, I find them distasteful as revenue generators, and low on my list of priorities when it comes to that. I'm less concerned about societal harm, though. If we consider the alternative, which is the same people we hope wouldn't gamble in Massachusetts instead getting on buses to RI, NH, and CT to gamble there, I'd say we're better off keeping those folks in state.

Any thoughts on location?
  • Do we go with the Atlantic City route, which is to say, place them in economically distressed locations with the hopes that the entire district improves? That would imply, perhaps New Bedford as a strong candidate.
  • What about the European model, wherein casinos are high end luxury resorts, only for the wealthy? maybe Lennox?
  • Then of course, there's the Las Vegas model, build them where the most people will be, which means right here in Boston. Yuck.
The European Model......How about the casinos in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. I have never been there but I heard it's very expensive and the area marketed to the super wealthy.


Also doesn't Mass already have the Casino boat going out of Lynn Ma. I wonder how that is doing these days.

Any thoughts on Massachusetts Gambling commission. Who will be elected to this power board

Last edited by TheRifleman; 09-15-2011 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:21 AM   #10
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Re: MA Casino Developments

I can't imagine Lenox wanting to go anywhere near this. Casinos are totally against everything that the Berkshires stand for as a tourist destination that emphasizes art and culture.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:25 AM   #11
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Re: MA Casino Developments

Quote:
House bets big, passes casino bill

By Chris Cassidy
Thursday, September 15, 2011 - Updated 8 minutes ago




A bill that would legalize three casinos and a racetrack slot parlor in the Bay State overwhelmingly passed the House last night and is headed to the state Senate.
“With people in our commonwealth hurting, this expanded gaming legislation will bring immediate jobs, local aid and economic growth,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “I am extraordinarily proud of the House’s unwavering commitment to jobs and growth. While not a panacea, this bill will stimulate our economy and provide local aid for the cities and towns across Massachusetts.”
DeLeo estimated that if ratified, the bill would create 15,000 jobs, and provide millions of dollars in local aid to cities and town. The bill divides the state into three gaming regions, and appoints an independent gaming commission that would authorize one casino in each region. It also allows for slot parlors at one racetrack.

But opponents warned of social ills and overpromised economic benefits.
“This is a race to the bottom,” said state Rep. Ruth Balser (D-Newton), arguing casinos aren’t economic development but a “predatory business.”
State Rep. James Lyons said: “This bill turns our cultural history on its head. ... Do we want to be part of a Legislature that will be known for one thing — the casino-gambling Legislature? That will be our legacy. That will be engraved on our monuments.”
Under the bill, resort casinos are taxed at 25 percent, with some revenue going to local aid. The slot parlor would be taxed at 49 percent, with 40 percent going to local aid, and 9 percent set aside for a horse-development fund.
Casino supporters — defeated again and again over the years and nearly written off after a crushing breakdown in leadership talks only a year ago — are now on the cusp of victory.
“I think it’s very close,” state Rep. Martin J. Walsh (D-Dorchester) said of the bill’s chances. “I’m pretty optimistic that we’re going to see a casino bill (made law) here in Massachusetts by early fall.”
Backers praised the bill for two major reasons — jobs and more money for local communities.
“It’s revenue that’s needed for the commonwealth,” Walsh said. “Obviously, cities and towns are struggling. If we can prevent further cuts, I think that’s an accomplishment.”
“It’s a good bill, something my constituents back in my district overwhelmingly supported,” said Rep. Brad Hill (R-Ipswich).

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/reg...ome&position=2
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:37 AM   #12
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Re: MA Casino Developments

Sure the jobs are nice but the key for me is that Massachusetts residents already gamble in droves (by the bus load really) in New England so why not keep the money in state? I understand the societal impacts and that needs to be watched carefully but it just seems odd to take the position that scratch tickets, lottery games, keno etc. are all perfectly acceptable and ubiquitous yet 3-4 locations statewide for slots and table games is not ok. People will gamble if they want to whether the casino is 45 minutes from their house or 90 minutes. It's time we stopped letting CT and other states get all the benefits of that industry.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:50 AM   #13
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Re: MA Casino Developments

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Originally Posted by Ron Newman View Post
I can't imagine Lenox wanting to go anywhere near this. Casinos are totally against everything that the Berkshires stand for as a tourist destination that emphasizes art and culture.
No, I find it unlikely, too, but in Europe, casinos in such locations are quite common, and are patronized by the same folks who the night before were at the opera.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:55 AM   #14
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Re: MA Casino Developments

So where do we think the development opportunities are?

My predictions: Slots at Suffolk Downs, and casinos in Palmer, New Bedford and Seaport (maybe at BMIP).
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:06 AM   #15
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Re: MA Casino Developments

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Originally Posted by Shepard View Post
So where do we think the development opportunities are?

My predictions: Slots at Suffolk Downs, and casinos in Palmer, New Bedford and Seaport (maybe at BMIP).
Suffolkdowns would make a fortune. The majority of the 33% of the Connecticut revenues are focused in those demographic areas. The problem would probably be the traffic and the massive amounts of degenerates living in that area. Revere would end up a being the ARMPIT of Mass.

Seaport interesting. I know it will do well but Boston should not have Casinos in the city. The city is a place of Education, Non-profit Hospitals, and business's.

New Bedford is a shithole a Casino would only upgrade that area.
I just think of BIFF's Casino in Back to the Future II for this area.



Palmer.....Never been out there.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:02 PM   #16
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Re: MA Casino Developments

a resort at the Seaport would work imo...esp with the upgrades looming for the convention center...why not make suckers out of the out of towners and let them blow their money in our state?

and the area is so segregated from the rest of the city i really dont worry about any spillover from the sleaze...if they gonna be ghetto at foxwoods let em be ghetto here

and it could help develop that area as a destination in general if there are developments for children and families...
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:22 PM   #17
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Re: MA Casino Developments

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Originally Posted by Bubbybu View Post
a resort at the Seaport would work imo...esp with the upgrades looming for the convention center...why not make suckers out of the out of towners and let them blow their money in our state?

and the area is so segregated from the rest of the city i really dont worry about any spillover from the sleaze...if they gonna be ghetto at foxwoods let em be ghetto here

and it could help develop that area as a destination in general if there are developments for children and families...
I have to agree. I think the Seaport would probably be a great location. I just don't trust the powers to be with our tax dollars and how the Gaming Commission will be chosen. Way too much power involved in this process. I'm betting nothing will be balanced.
This is a good quote

"Give them Nothing but take from them EVERYTHING!!!!"
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:01 PM   #18
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Re: MA Casino Developments

Actually, corruption is probably my biggest concern about all of this. This state is already so corrupt, how can we possibly expect this to be the exception to the rule?
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:12 PM   #19
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Re: MA Casino Developments

Lynn and Revere might as well have been hit with an atomic bomb. Wonderland and Suffolk Downs were bad enough as it was. Now every professional welfare recipient, low level drug dealer, and petty thief is going to be flocking there to play slots with ill gotten money in the hopes of one big score. The asshole politicians aren't thinking the Riviera, Foxwoods or Vegas, they are just thinking about the kickbacks, and we are going to wind up with a bunch of Atlantic Cities dragging struggling communities further into the gutter.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:19 PM   #20
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Re: MA Casino Developments

You're being too kind to our elected officials. They're not even smart enough to be thinking about money. They are simply walking in lockstep with the Speaker of the House. Of course, they all voted against similar bills when DiMasi was Speaker because he was against it, now they're all for it because DeLeo is for it.

So disgusting it makes me puke.
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