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Casino Plans of Gov. Patrick Face Opposition in Massachusetts

On March 3rd, 2008, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is considering placing future casino licensing revenue in his budget proposal for the incoming fiscal year, a difficult and dangerous political decision on his part to heighten the political pressure on the House of Representatives of the state to give way to his plans for constructing 3 resort casinos in the state of Massachusetts. Gov. Patrick is placing before the House the mouth watering incentive of eight hundred million dollars of licensing fees that will be paid to the state by developers of the casino. It will greatly help the expected $1.45 billion deficit that the state is facing.

Officials of the legislature commented that Gov. Patrick will be met with opposition if he puts the predicted casino profit in the state budget before the concept is heard in a formal hearing or given the green light. House Representative Robert A. DeLeo commented that it will not be a good move by the Governor because it is such a volatile issue and will need a lot of time and effort to review the proposal before it can be even put in the state budget or approved.

House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi's spokesperson, David Guarino called the decision of Governor Deval Patrick a bad move. With a scary deficit, using the fees from the casinos would put an unadvisable pressure to the House to approve the casino proposal of Gov. Patrick to solve that state budget. In a gaming proposal that he placed in October, Gov. Deval Patrick planned for a bidding process for the casinos in three places in the state.

The bidding cost will start from two hundred million dollars but could become larger. Those profits would be accessible immediately but it is not very clear how Gov. Patrick would utilize the cash if he places it in the budget and if Gov. Patrick will use it in a single project or use it in the ten year span of the casino license.

The Governor's bill states for the majority of the profits to be divided between tax relief for residents and improving the transportation in the state. State officials said that they were considering putting down the casino profits in the current budget a long time ago. The administration and finance secretary Leslie Kirwan commented on a hearing back on December 18th, 2007 that the profits from the planned casinos can really help the state solve its budget deficit of almost $1.45 billion.


03/18/2008 23:06 PM
Ann Pettersson