Saturday, July 31, 2010

Against All Odds: Highs, Lows, and Lies

All good gamblers go through and tell them.

You always win the first hand, right?

That's the way they draw you in.

"Officials try a less fiery approach to casino debate" by Noah Bierman, Globe Staff | July 20, 2010

Beacon Hill lawmakers tried to tone down the rhetoric over expanded gambling yesterday, as divided legislative leaders met with Governor Deval Patrick.

“At least we’re talking,’’ House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo told reporters as he walked out of the private meeting. “When people stop talking and the dialogue stops, then that’s probably the death knell of legislation.’’

DeLeo said it “remains to be seen’’ whether the sides will reach a compromise on the issue before the legislative session ends July 31. “We’re working,’’ Senate President Therese Murray said as she stood beside DeLeo.

Just a few weeks ago, many on Beacon Hill expressed confidence that a casino bill would be passed this year, given that both the House and Senate voted in favor of expanded gambling, with the support of Patrick....

But casinos are hovering over everything on Beacon Hill right now as lawmakers and a phalanx of lobbyists wait to see whether a conference committee of House and Senate members works out a compromise.


Of course, if you catch someone cheating.

"Tensions rise in gambling bill talks; Tracks’ role at issue as session nears end" by Brian McGrory and Noah Bierman, Globe Staff | July 22, 2010

Negotiations in the Legislature over expanded gambling reached a new boiling point last night as the Massachusetts House reported an impasse, according to two officials, and the state Senate said time is running short to reach a deal on the high-profile issue before the lawmaking session ends next week.

Wow, a complete 180 from two days ago -- and am I ever sick of the political fooleys concealing larceny.

Two senior House officials said the Senate flatly rejected its latest compromise proposal without making a counteroffer.

But Senator Stanley Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat and one of the lead negotiators for the Senate, said that is not true; his side is still considering the deal. He said that the sides have gone back and forth with four different offers and that a deal remains possible.

“This is a French movie,’’ Rosenberg said. “You’re coming into the fourth act.’’

Except this isn't a movie, Stan, it's real.

One thing is clear: The level of tension is rising, and both sides seem to be laying the groundwork to blame the other if they fail to strike a deal.

House leaders are privately puzzled and stewing at the Senate’s posture....


I need the rush of a win, readers

"Impasse heartens gambling opponents; Stalled talks may signal bill’s demise" by Noah Bierman and Travis Andersen, Globe Staff | July 23, 2010

With a little more than a week remaining in the legislative session, House and Senate lawmakers are at odds, Governor Deval Patrick is in the Middle East, and opponents of expanded gambling are cheering a Beacon Hill impasse that they hope will lead to the demise of legislation authorizing resort casinos in Massachusetts.

More like opponent of any here, but I'm not going to quibble.

“You don’t want to count your chickens before they hatch,’’ said Evelyn Reilly, director of public policy for the Massachusetts Family Institute, which opposes expanded gambling.

“But let us just say that we are watching and cautiously hoping,’’ she said. “I think the Commonwealth could be better off for their — what do we call it? — internal cogitation.’’

Gambling critics say public attention focused on Beacon Hill — and the fact that debate over casinos seems to be preventing the Legislature from addressing social, health, and criminal justice policy issues — provides an opening for gambling opponents.

I'm tired of having my chain jerked around by the Boston Globe with their political games. I wasn't even writing about this because I knew a deal would get done.

A group of senators who oppose expanded gambling met with Patrick’s top staff Wednesday to make the case that the greed of special interests is shaping the debate, according to Senator James B. Eldridge, an Acton Democrat who was part of the meeting.

At least he knows for whom the lootislature is working.

“The focus on Beacon Hill seems to be on clocks and calendar and striking a quote-unquote deal,’’ said Kathleen Conley Norbut, president of United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts. “You can’t get it right. There is no right for an industry and product that is predatory and more costly than any alleged revenues.’’

Proponents of expanded gambling, who argue that casinos and slot machines at racetracks would create jobs and improve the economy, are concerned....

Members of the House and Senate continued to accuse each other of scuttling negotiations. On Wednesday, House members accused senators of sitting on compromise proposals.

And then early yesterday, Senator Stanley Rosenberg, a key Democratic negotiator, said his House counterparts had rebuffed invitations for the conference committee, made up of negotiators from House and Senate, to meet.

“I did everything but get down on one knee and beg,’’ he said.

By day’s end, Rosenberg said he had had a two-hour conversation with his House counterpart, and that Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo had exchanged proposals, though they had not come to a deal.

“I am ever the optimist,’’ Rosenberg said. “Every passing day, it will be harder to get it done and get it done properly. But it can and will be done if we can stay at the table and make our compromises.’’

But Representative Brian Dempsey, Rosenberg’s counterpart in the House, told State House News Service that a deal may not happen....


It's the coming down from the high that is the toughest:

"Gambling proposals still on the table" by Stephanie Ebbert, Globe Staff | July 24, 2010

After a tense of week of on-again, off-again talks, Massachusetts legislative leaders were moving toward compromise in their discussions on casino gambling, lawmakers said last night.

Wow, the Boston Globe is really jerking you around, 'eh, readers?

Though they ended the day yesterday without resolution, leaders continued talks into the evening in an otherwise quiet Capitol. Senate President Pro Tempore Stanley C. Rosenberg said members were also calling one another on the phone and plan to continue talks over the weekend....

Certain interests want this done, and these clowns will make it so.

An impasse earlier in the week and protracted talks over casinos have postponed debate on other issues that political leaders hoped to resolve by next week....

Other stuff?


"Leaders talk deal on Mass. casinos; Outlook unclear after meeting; Other key bills still unresolved" by Noah Bierman and Frank Phillips, Globe Staff | July 27, 2010

House and Senate leaders attempted yesterday to jump-start stalled negotiations over legalizing Las Vegas-style resort casinos, even as advocates for a variety of other measures grew increasingly concerned that the two-year legislative session will end Saturday with major issues still unresolved.

After weeks of publicly disparaging each other’s proposals and hosting negotiations that went nowhere, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo met yesterday with key Democratic lawmakers from both chambers to try to hash out a casinos compromise. They did not immediately make a deal and acknowledged that it remains unclear whether they will do so.

“Would I definitively state, yes, we’re going to have a bill by the end of the week? No, I probably couldn’t say that,’’ DeLeo told reporters as he entered the meeting, which was called by Murray and took place in her office. “But I think we’re giving it our best shot.’’

Murray’s spokesman, David Falcone, said the leaders planned to work into the night to try to resolve their differences....

This is REALLY starting to feel like a RUSH THROUGH that we will ALL end up REGRETTING!!

But the two sides could not close a deal last night....

The legislative session is scheduled to end Saturday, with several key issues, from a state sales tax holiday to a gun control measure, stalled by the dispute over expanded gambling.

Advocates for other issues have grown frustrated, and many observers, both on and off Beacon Hill, have criticized what seems like a singular focus for the state’s lawmakers....

That is because SPECIAL INTERESTS and their LOBBYISTS set the pace up on the hill.

Advocates for changing the criminal records law, who have won support from the House and Senate, are suddenly concerned that victory may be slipping from their hands. They plan a rally today on the State House steps in an effort to call attention to their cause....

Related: Massachusetts Justice: Employing Perverts

And they will be on the statehouse steps tomorrow.

Tension over casinos intensified last week when DeLeo offered a compromise proposal, and Murray seemed to sit on it for more then a day and then dismiss it without a counteroffer, angering the speaker....

Are you tired of the personal politics and personality squabbles being presented as news, readers, because I sure am.


And I'm tired of being jerked around by the paper for a political agenda.

"Patrick in doubt of gambling resolution; He again urges action to clear way for other bills" by Andrea Estes and Noah Bierman, Globe Staff | July 28, 2010

Governor Deval Patrick said yesterday that the House and Senate remain divided by a chasm over gambling, casting doubt on the prospects for resolution of a debate that has tied the Legislature in knots for most of a month....

A political ploy to give them a push.

While several major bills have been held up during the casino impasse, there was some action yesterday.

The Senate passed a bill, previously passed by the House, which could replace the electoral college with a popular vote for presidential elections.

Related: Winner-take-all bill is OK’d by state Senate

Why are they always doing things we do not want them to do?

And the House passed a bill unanimously yesterday that attempts to prevent some home foreclosures and to protect some renters from eviction.

Oh, finally getting around to it, huh?


Related: Things Are Tough All Over in Massachusetts

They were not working through the night on that one.

"Hopes rise for deal on casinos; Leaders indicate 11th-hour accord is within reach" by Andrea Estes and Noah Bierman, Globe Staff | July 29, 2010

State legislative leaders, downbeat for days about the prospects of reaching a compromise on legislation to expand gambling, were more optimistic late yesterday that a deal was within reach.

Are you TIRED of being JERKED AROUND for what everyone knew was going to be a DONE DEAL by the time they were through?

Both the House speaker and the Senate president said they are unwilling to keep lawmakers on Beacon Hill past the scheduled end of the legislative session Saturday....

Yeah, the CLOSER they are to VACATION the HARDER they WORK!

But as legislative leaders talked into the night about their differences over casino and slot parlor proposals, the issue that has halted progress on other major issues on Beacon Hill, the outlines of a possible compromise emerged: authorize three resort-style casinos and allow slot machines at two additional locations....

Do you know how sick I am of seeing BUT in my NEWSPAPER!?

Lawmakers are committed to forging a deal, said Senator Steven C. Panagiotakos, a Lowell Democrat and a key Senate negotiator....

So they can GO HOME!

The negotiations took place behind closed doors yesterday, as lobbyists and reporters huddled in State House hallways awaiting some trickle of news and the resumption of work on other major issues.

In the liberal fascist state we call a commonwealth.


"Public [is] not welcome.... activity is taking place almost entirely out of public view... and behind closed doors.... the Legislature is exempt from the state's open meeting and public records laws.... able to deliberate in private and guard key documents from public scrutiny.... allowing the public to take part in the proceedings would only bog things down....

Rank-and-file lawmakers currently have little clue about what is going on or what they inevitably will be asked to vote on with little notice.... Legislation was actually drafted by lobbyists and sent to the State House by courier for passage"

Also see: The Perils of One-Party Politics: The Ruling Party

We need a change.

With just a few days remaining in the two-year legislative session, lawmakers were eager to wrap up work and return to their districts, where many will spend the next few months campaigning for reelection....

I don't know how much fun that is going to be with a surly public looking to punish incumbents.


As if we needed another reason:

"Patrick, in shift, offers a slots deal; Would accept parlor if Hill gridlock ends" by Noah Bierman and Andrea Estes, Globe Staff | July 30, 2010

Gambling opponents were worried that by ceding ground on slot parlors, Patrick would pave the way for Massachusetts to be hit with “the most addictive form of gambling known to mankind,’’ said Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute.

“The governor has acknowledged that’’ about slot machines, Mineau said. “I don’t see how, in good faith, the governor can condone additional slots at parlors.’’

Patrick’s Republican opponent, Charles D. Baker, held a press conference earlier yesterday during which he accused Patrick of a lack of leadership and said gambling was neither a long-term nor a short-term fix for the state’s economy.

“Beacon Hill should be ashamed for wasting the last few weeks in a gridlock,’’ Baker’s campaign said in a statement released after the press conference. Baker supports casinos, but says the state should start with one, to test its effect on the economy.

A report released by Moody’s Investors Services Wednesday offered mixed news on the health of the gambling industry, with revenues in several states declining significantly and rebounding in a few others.

So much for the casino that laid the golden goose!!!

“Gaming, once considered ‘recession-resistant,’ proved to be one of the first sectors to be negatively affected by this recession and may be one of the last to recover,’’ Moody’s said.

In other words, YOU WERE LIED TO AGAIN, America!

Industry profits are expected to stabilize by the end of the year, the Wall Street rating agency added. “But we believe further gaming proliferation will likely result in more companies competing for the same customers within a particular market/region rather than expansion of the overall industry.’’

All of the legislation Patrick wants passed in exchange for the slots parlor was close to resolution, including an economic development bill that includes a sales tax holiday and another that would help small businesses afford health care.

The Legislature did reach agreement on two of the bills on Patrick’s list: one that would streamline the process for siting wind farms, giving more authority to local communities; the other would limit access to criminal records in order to help offenders get jobs, as well as allow for earlier parole for drug offenders....

Why do they care more about the criminals than you, taxpayer?


He must have got the message:

"A casino deal, but Patrick balks; Legislators back 3 casinos, 2 slot parlors; governor calls measure unacceptable" by Noah Bierman and Andrea Estes, Globe Staff | July 31, 2010

After decades of debate and a month of contentious backroom haggling, key lawmakers agreed on a gambling bill yesterday that would authorize three Las Vegas-style casinos and a pair of slot parlors at the state’s racetracks.

In other words, they GAVE EVERYONE what they wanted!

But even as the House and Senate prepared to vote on the measure today, Governor Deval Patrick has vowed to reject it.

Quit getting my hopes up; you know when rubber hits the road pen will hit paper.

The latest standoff adds a new chapter to the frenzied debate, which had seemed finally headed for resolution as the two-year legislative session officially ends at midnight tonight.

I'm sick of the story, at least the way the Boston Globe is telling it.

Now, there’s a distinct possibility that the saga will end with all three parties wanting casinos, but nothing to show for it.

The yo-yo ride is making me ill.

“The governor has stated throughout this process that he was going to be open-minded with me,’’ said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, the son of a racetrack worker, who has two tracks in his legislative district. “This is a major piece of legislation. There’s a whole lot more to it than just slots at the racetrack. I’m hopeful he’ll take the time to look at the bill as a whole.’’

But Patrick, who declared Thursday that he would accept no more than one slot parlor with a fully open bidding process, immediately renewed his pledge to reject anything more than that, issuing a statement just after DeLeo and other legislative leaders held their celebratory press conference....

Here's mud in your eye!

“At the end of the day, this is not the total answer to our problems,’’ said Senator Steven C. Panagiotakos, a Lowell Democrat and key gambling negotiator. “But it’s going to put 15,000 people back to work. You can’t tell me another industry that is going to do that right away.’’

Right away? Really?

You know, the HYPERBOLE is not HELPING!

The state’s share of the gambling money would be used to shore up the budget, and to aid cities and towns. A smaller portion would be used to combat crime, treat addiction, and help cultural facilities hurt by competition from casinos.

The addition of casinos would mark a dramatic cultural shift for Massachusetts, a state settled by Puritans that has long relied on its colonial history and natural beauty to draw tourists.

And you can NEVER GO BACK!

But casino proponents say times have changed, and too many residents and tourists are spending their money to gamble in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York.

Another but.

Opponents say the economic development benefits are exaggerated and the social costs are too high.

But let's move on from their concerns.

The question of how many casino developers will compete to build here remains uncertain.

Yeah, that's much more important.

On Wednesday, Moody’s Investors Services offered mixed news on the health of the industry. Yesterday, Morgan Stanley released a new analysis of the Massachusetts market, warning that the Legislature’s plan could over-saturate the Boston area, which is considered the state’s most potentially lucrative region.

Nah!! Deal me another hand!

Morgan Stanley estimated that a single destination casino in Boston would generate $600 million to $700 million in annual revenue, or about half the total potential gambling revenue for the state. But allowing two additional slot parlors would reduce that estimate by 35 percent, which would limit the interest of investors, the report said.

And THAT is WHO and WHAT this WHOLE THING is about!!!

Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat and the Senate’s point person on gambling, agreed there is only a limited pie to divvy up among the gambling halls and that more venues is “just dividing the pie into smaller pieces.’’

Then get a NEW PLAN, Stan!

Our "relationship" ended a long time ago.


Despite their protracted negotiations on expanded gambling, lawmakers announced yesterday that they had hammered out deals on a number of other issues, including a sales tax holiday, a measure that would help the state locate new wind farms, and a bill that would limit many employers’ access to criminal records.

Legislative leaders are hoping to enact the measures before midnight tonight, when the legislative session is scheduled to end. The legislation would then have to be signed by Governor Deval Patrick to become law.

“Yesterday I called on the Legislature to finish their work on several key pieces of legislation that are critical to continuing our economic recovery and growing jobs,’’ Patrick said in a statement yesterday. “I am pleased that the House and Senate have begun to move on these measures today and will look forward to reviewing the content of the final bills to assure that they go far enough.’’

Democratic leaders, who have been criticized for their focus on casino gambling, congratulated one another on their work....

They pat themselves on the back for things for which we want to kick them in the ass.


Related: Legislature passes bill targeting childhood obesity

Governor signs bill to improve nutrition for schoolchildren

Also see:

Do you want to take your chances, reader?

Globe Editorial
Compromise on gambling shouldn’t include ‘racinos’

Globe Editorial Governor should veto flawed gambling deal

I'm sorry, readers; I don't play those games when I go to casino.

Against All Odds: Developers Double Down

Been waiting a long time.

"Fresh faces join push to build casinos in Bay State" by Matt Viser, Globe Staff | May 28, 2009

The renewed quest on Beacon Hill to legalize gambling has attracted a fresh set of casino interests to Massachusetts, promising another high-dollar lobbying blitz in coming months by developers sensing potential for a big jackpot.

Steve Wynn, one of the most famous casino moguls in the world, is making a much more concerted effort to lobby for a casino in Massachusetts, hiring a lobbyist and sending a representative from his company here yesterday.

Related: Las Vegas Rolls Crap

Hardly a fresh face or new name.

Boyd Gaming Corp., a Vegas-based casino company that has 16 gambling sites, including the Borgata in Atlantic City, has also hired a Bay State lobbyist for the first time and has been scouring for sites.

Related: Gamblers Dealing Mass. Democrats Dollar$

Just wanted you to see him in action.

"The signals coming out of the capital are pointing to a fall debate on gaming," said Jeff Hartmann, chief operating officer of Connecticut's Mohegan Sun, which earlier this month set up a storefront location in Palmer to describe its casino plans for the Western Massachusetts town and drum up local support....

I don't think so: The Palmer Protests

Yeah, we don't want you here!

Much of the recent flurry of activity has been driven by developers from outside Massachusetts, creating competing versions of what gambling in the Bay State should look like.

That is where they will be TAKING the PROFITS, fellow citizen.

Now if you paid a local person for a service, well, maybe that money might get back around to you -- and not kept by the developer-dealer!

Well-financed developers from around the country pushing for full casino resorts are up against local racetrack owners, who want Governor Deval Patrick and lawmakers to quickly install slot machine parlors at the racetracks.

The Mohegan tribe, for instance, is hoping to develop a resort featuring a 600-room hotel, a spa, a casino, restaurants, and shops on a site less than a mile from the Massachusetts Turnpike. Companies also have sent representatives to look at possible resort casino sites throughout the state, including property in Milford, Palmer, Raynham, and New Bedford.

Interest in the state's racetracks also is intense....

With no jobs and foreclosures shooting through the ceiling.... who can go to a gaming parlor?

Related: Boston Globe Says Everyone is a Winner at Casinos

Is that really the best thing to be doing with the retirement dough

The other two tracks in Massachusetts, Suffolk Downs and Wonderland Greyhound Park, have already partnered to pursue a casino development.

Senate President Therese Murray spurred the renewed interest with a single act last month, pulling down her arm and saying, "Ka-ching" to a roomful of business executives.

Yeah, FROM YOUR POCKET into THEIRS, taxpayers of Massachusetts!!!

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot the campaign kickback they call a contribution, CHA-CHING!

Her outspokenness in favor of gambling - along with the progambling stance of House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo - has developers looking more intently than last year, when former House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi killed Patrick's casino bill.

"We're going to have gaming," Murray said yesterday....

You mean GAMBLING, right?

The debate is likely to be complicated by political differences.


DeLeo wants slot machines at racetracks, while Patrick envisions resort casino developments.


Murray has not expressed any preference. Gambling economics also will probably play a factor. Developers have struggled with the economic downturn, halting projects midstream, laying off employees, and putting off future developments.

But some remain optimistic that the industry may be ready for a rebound.

Like that gambling addict watching his pile of chips slip away?

Wynn said in a conference call earlier this month that he was "cautiously optimistic that maybe we've seen the bottom." He also said, "If the stars line up, we might be an acquirer," but added, "We have no deal cooking."

I would rather depend on something else a little more earthly, tangible, and in our control, thanks.

No, no, I'll check to the king.

Gary Loveman, a Massachusetts resident and chief executive at Harrah's Entertainment Inc., has been interested in Massachusetts and in possibly forming a partnership with Suffolk Downs. Sheldon Adelson, a Dorchester native and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands Corp., has sought to develop land near Marlborough.

Related: Globe Interviews Gambling Mogul

More: Sheldon Adelson

Another Zionist criminal and thief.

One of the biggest question marks is where the casinos would be built.

There are various pockets of land available, including a large plot near Interstate 495 in Milford. The Turnpike Authority owns a swath of land off the Massachusetts Turnpike in Warren, which could be available.

Wynn, who was born in New Haven and later took over his family's Maryland-based bingo business, has developed lavish resorts - including the Bellagio, The Mirage, and Treasure Island - and has also expanded to Macau, where he is competing with Adelson.

Umm, there is NOTHING NEW or FRESH about these faces, Glob!!!!!

What a deceptive PoS!

Wynn last year also had discussions with Wonderland Greyhound Park owner Charles Sarkis, inquiring about the Revere property. The discussions did not become serious, and Wonderland later entered into a deal with Suffolk Downs to pursue a casino.

A subsidiary of Wynn Resorts Limited recently hired a Boston lobbying firm to pave the way on Beacon Hill. The subsidiary, Development Associates, also was among those bidding this month to build a casino at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York....


So like vultures they have been circling above for over a year:

"Casino developers make their pitches; House passage of bill brings raft of promises" by Casey Ross, Globe Staff | April 16, 2010

Casino and racetrack operators yesterday began to angle for one of the gambling licenses just approved by the Massachusetts House, promising to spend hundreds of millions of dollars building gambling complexes that would provide hundreds of new jobs.

In Palmer, Mohegan Sun wants to build a $700 million casino with 3,000 slot machines, a 600-room hotel and convention center, and up to five restaurants. The owner of Suffolk Downs in East Boston would spend up to $750 million on an entertainment complex that would include both gambling and horse racing. In Milford, a Las Vegas casino operator has teamed with a developer to propose a $675 million casino and 250-room hotel.

The legislation passed by the House this week would allow for two casinos in Massachusetts and let racetrack owners add as many as 750 slot machines to their facilities. Gambling developers are combing through the legislation to determine how best to position their proposals.

But the bidders may have to be patient. Leaders of the Massachusetts Senate indicated yesterday that they may take months to devise their own version of legalized gambling, one that could differ from the House’s....

See: Against All Odds: Senate Sleight of Hand

Yesterday was a day of optimism for racetrack owners and casino operators, many of whom have been hawking their proposals for years, only to be repeatedly blocked by the previous speaker of the Massachusetts House, Salvatore DiMasi.

With DiMasi gone and House approval now in hand, it appears more likely that some form of expanded gambling will pass this year....

Which casts his comeuppance in a whole new light since they are all crooked over there.

Gambling opponents said these promises should be sharply scrutinized, arguing that the casinos will siphon business from local merchants and wind up saddling residents with higher taxes to pay for the effects of gambling.

Hey, your are used to it, right, Massachusetts?

What's another little piece of flesh?

Laura Everett, associate director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, said the 15,000 new jobs the House estimated seems exaggerated compared to what other states have experienced.

I call them lies.

Four years after Pennsylvania legalized gambling in 2004, nine gaming facilities had produced fewer than 6,000 jobs, Everett said, citing a recent report in Commonwealth magazine.

“We’re deeply skeptical about these numbers,’’ Everett said. “There’s never been a real cost-benefit analysis.’’ Added Kathleen Conley Norbut, executive director of United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts: “The lack of intelligent analysis is truly disconcerting.’’

No, because EVERYBODY WINS according to my agenda-pu$hing paper!!!


Related: Casino pitched for Fall River

In Middleborough, some disappointed by the change

Rival tribe says its proposed casino would be better for Massachusetts

And casinos are like vampires once it has gained access to your house:

"Pattern shows first casinos are rarely last; Most states allow gambling to expand" by Casey Ross, Globe Staff | June 28, 2010

Lawmakers poised to approve the first casinos in Massachusetts promise to control the spread of gaming, but pressure to expand has led to growth in slot machines, video gaming terminals, and new casinos in nearly every state that has legalized gambling in the last 20 years....

Maybe you can have one on every street corner, Massachusetts.

Oh, you already do; they are called convenience and package stores that sell lottery tickets.

“Once you get the breakthrough of legalization, there is always a push for expansion, and states almost never pull back,’’ said Nelson Rose, a professor at Whittier Law School in California who tracks the gambling industry. “It always happens one way or another.’’

Which is why -- like the wars -- we DIDN'T WANT THEM!

Expansion can dramatically expand access to gambling and dilute the market, cutting revenue at large casinos and increasing the costs of addiction, crime, and government regulation, critics said.

Even gambling supporters in Massachusetts agree the trend is worrisome....

In other states, the urge to authorize more taxable slot machines or video terminals has fueled an explosion of gambling facilities....

In some cases, expansion has created significant regulatory costs and complications....

Didn't see those coming, didja?

Yeah, see if you can draw that inside straight.

“The efforts to expand gambling never stop, because it starts to dictate economic policy,’’ said John Kindt, a University of Illinois professor who has been critical of the industry’s growth. “I would hope that Massachusetts, as the birthplace of American freedom, will be a leader in economic freedom and not be beguiled and seduced by this.’’

Sorry to disappoint you.

But gambling supporters said those arguments are overly political and ignore the benefits of expanding the industry....


They could stand there with their hair on fire and tell you to get some marshmallows.

These are the same guys that paid the gambling industry to sell you a self-serving study, folks!


I don't care where they put 'em as long as it isn't here.

"Suffolk Downs pitches a casino; Track owners want a resort complex; proposal has powerful backers" by Jenifer B. McKim, Globe Staff | July 7, 2010

As lawmakers yesterday began to hash out a compromise gambling bill, the owners of the Suffolk Downs racetrack unveiled their proposal for a resort-style casino at the East Boston facility....

Suffolk Downs would be one of several competitors for the few coveted casino licenses that lawmakers are expected to approve. Other developers have already proposed similar gambling resorts at locations in New Bedford, Palmer, and Milford. Two Wampanoag Indian tribes also want to open casinos at separate sites in Fall River.

But Suffolk Downs is seen by many political observers as being well-positioned in the competition because it is in the district of House Speaker Robert DeLeo, a strong proponent of gaming who led his chamber’s approval of a casino bill earlier this year. DeLeo’s father once worked at the track. Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is also a strong supporter of Suffolk Downs getting a casino license....

Opponents feel outgunned. John Ribeiro, founder of the opposition group Neighbors of Suffolk Downs, said he consistently hears in the community that a casino at Suffolk Downs is “a done deal.’’

That's why I don't want to spend much time on it.


Although the track has lost money for several years, its owners have held out for expanded gambling in Massachusetts to turn their business around....

Yup, YOU are TAKING a GAMBLE, Massachusetts!

Robert Goodman, a gambling researcher and author, questioned the presumption by Massachusetts lawmakers that casinos would increase revenue for the state. Instead, gambling customers would be spending money at casinos they otherwise would have spent on other businesses, he said.

“No serious economic impact analysis has been done in Massachusetts,’’ he said.

“More money is going to be sucked out of the local economy.’’


Governor Deval Patrick ramped up his rhetoric against a signature proposal of House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo yesterday, calling DeLeo’s plan to license slot machines at four race tracks “effectively a no-bid contract’’ that would hand valuable gambling licenses to a handful of private developers.

DeLeo quickly shot back, asserting that his plan is the state’s best hope at assisting cities and towns that have recently been hit by budget cuts and challenging his opponents to come up with something better....

Of course, he has no $elf-$erving interest!


Related: Gambling foes seek a panel to assess costs

Sorry, busted.

And look who is still sitting at the table.

"Firms up ante on lobbying for casinos; Spending jumps as approval nears" by Noah Bierman and Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff | July 17, 2010

Casinos have yet to win approval on Beacon Hill, but some of the promised economic growth has already come.

Gambling interests spent nearly $1.8 million in the first six months of this year on lobbying and related expenses, much of it from out of state and almost all of it from an industry that wants to legalize casinos and slot machines at the state’s race tracks, records show.

Yeah, I noticed the Globe wasn't as sour on that outside money as it is when it came to Scott Brown or initiatives to roll back taxes. Depends on what agenda-pushing cause it is coming from, I guess.

“It has certainly led to full employment for lobbyists,’’ said Secretary of State William F. Galvin, who regulates lobbying in Massachusetts.

So that's where the jobs are.

The latest numbers from Galvin’s office show a significant surge in spending over last year. The total spending on gambling lobbying for all 2009, when the issue was discussed but not fully debated, was $2.5 million, and had reached roughly $1 million by the midyear point.

The increase comes in large part because the Commonwealth is closer than it has ever been to approving Vegas-style casino gambling....

By contrast, an interest group on the other side of the issue, Stop Predatory Gambling, spent just $1,250, records show.

Spokesmen for legislative leaders and for Patrick said the fierce lobbying has little bearing on their decisions.

Can't help but lie, can ya?

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo’s spokesman said he is guided solely by the potential for economic growth through casinos. Senate President Therese Murray’s spokesman said she does not meet with casino interests and three years ago named Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat, to serve as the chamber’s point person on gambling so that she could avoid the perception of undue influence within her office.

“The pace and the intensity of [lobbying] has picked up dramatically over the last five or six months, as . . . it became clear that both the House and the Senate were serious about taking up bills,’’ Rosenberg said yesterday. “Lobbyists provide information. Our job is to sort through the information.’’


Yeah, I knew I was smelling something.

But gambling opponents say they are badly outnumbered, compromising their ability to get their message out on Beacon Hill.

Even if you did I doubt they would hear you.

“I do hope people will realize that this is not a grass-roots movement. It is major casino owners who will make major profits and racetrack owners who will make major profits,’’ said Scott Harshbarger, a former attorney general who has been one of the most prominent opponents of casinos. “They are selling it in the interest of jobs. I understand the frustration [with the economy], but this is being driven very much by money and politics.’’

Harshbarger predicted that the industry will spend more if casinos are approved in an effort to expand gambling further.

A proven fact if the article above is to be believed.

The soliciting has largely come from developers, owners of potential facilities, and manufacturers of everything from slot machines to security systems.

They have come armed with white papers and brochures, diagrams, and pictures....

And one other thing you forgot there, Globe.


Yeah, that i$ what I meant!

Also see
Seems like a winner to me (sigh)!

Against All Odds: Senate Sleight of Hand

And they are the ones dealing you the cards....

"Senate to take it slow on casinos; Plans no debate or vote till June" by Michael Levenson, Globe Staff | April 16, 2010

Massachusetts Senate leaders are putting the brakes on House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo’s determined push for gambling legislation, sending clear signals yesterday that they would take their time and give the issue a fresh look.

A day after DeLeo’s bill cleared the House by a decisive margin, senators said they would hold “roundtable discussions’’ on gambling later this month, then craft their own bill and hold a public hearing. They have no plans to debate or vote on a plan until June.

See: Against All Odds: The Story of How the House Passed Casinos

Stanley Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat who is the Senate’s point person on gambling, said senators want to draw up their own legislation rather than take up the House plan....

The tempo advocated by Senate leaders stood in stark contrast to the giddy excitement of casino supporters after their victory in the House Wednesday night. For years, they have tried unsuccessfully to get a bill past the House, and now it is the Senate slowing things down.

Senators said they will face pressure to act. Casino lobbyists and union officials were already working the Senate hallways yesterday, pulling members into private conversations.

“The temperature has gone up,’’ Rosenberg said after being buttonholed by two lobbyists. “There’s just that much more intensity to the conversations, and every word and every utterance is being weighed and measured.’’


Senate to propose licensing 3 casinos

"Emotions high in casino debate; State senators hear passionate testimony on bills" by Michael Levenson, Globe Staff | June 9, 2010

State senators got an earful from both sides of the heated casino debate yesterday as they held an hours-long hearing on the merits and perils of expanded gambling before they vote later this month on a bill to legalize three casinos in Massachusetts.

Robert J. Haynes, the tough-talking president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, urged lawmakers to ignore all those “well-meaning, sophisticated, educated people’’ who produce “statistic after statistic’’ to make casinos “look like a bad idea’’ for the state.

“I represent regular folks,’’ he said, and, for them, “You can’t trump a job.’’

No, senators also have to consider the social costs of casinos, said Matthew C. Patrick, a state representative from Falmouth whose father was addicted to gambling.

“We’re destroying families,’’ Patrick said, his voice breaking with emotion. “Don’t forget that.’’

The hearing came at a pivotal juncture in the long-running casino debate on Beacon Hill....

Many on both sides of the issue say the momentum has shifted, after years of debate, in favor of expanding gambling this summer. Many lawmakers, hoping to shore up budgets battered by the recession, have said they believe legalizing casinos in Massachusetts would help them recapture some of the estimated $1 billion that the state’s gamblers spend every year in casinos in other states.

Yesterday’s hearing was a chance for both sides to voice their arguments for what could be one final time before the Senate votes and the issue is settled behind closed doors by House and Senate negotiators....


"the Legislation was actually drafted by lobbyists and sent to the State House by courier for passage"

Opponents of casinos, vastly outnumbered, warned that casinos would drive up crime, cannibalize small businesses, and prey on vulnerable gamblers.

Casinos are “a fancy way of putting a tax on the poor,’’ said Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, a Jamaica Plain Democrat. “I just don’t believe that’s the way we should be going as a state.’’

Natasha Dow Schüll, a cultural anthropologist at MIT, told the panel that slot machines are designed to maximize profits by getting people to gamble quickly, up to 1,200 times an hour, so they enter “the zone’’ in which they care not about winning but about continuing to gamble.

Casinos are based “on problem machines and problem business practices,’’ she said.

Brain scans of slot machine users “look like they’re high on cocaine,’’ said Hans C. Breiter, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a specialist in brain imaging.

Casinos rely on compulsive gamblers for most of their profits, said Senator Susan C. Tucker, an Andover Democrat and a staunch gambling opponent.

The hearing stretched over more than six hours as witness after witness testified. It is not clear, however, if anyone succeeded in persuading the senators to change their minds.

Indeed, Senator Stanley Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat who helped write the Senate’s casino legislation, opened the hearing by telling those in attendance that the issue had “been debated literally for decades’’ and that “every point of view, every study, has been heard, vetted, and considered.’’

What a LIAR!


Oh, yeah, here is the kind of study they do:

"Senate leaders promote the benefits of casinos; Study forecasts 14,000 new jobs" by Michael Levenson, Globe Staff | June 19, 2010

State Senate leaders, bracing for a charged debate next week on their plan to legalize three casinos in Massachusetts, argued yesterday that the casinos will generate $1.8 billion in annual economic activity and create 14,000 permanent jobs.

The senators cited a study they commissioned by The Innovation Group, a consulting firm whose clients include other states that have considered expanded gambling, as well some of the country’s largest casino developers, including Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., Wynn Resorts, and Trump Hotels & Casinos.

And look who owns Harrah's, Bay-Staters.


Senate President Therese Murray’s deputies said the findings confirmed their belief that, by allowing casinos to be built in Eastern, Southeastern, and Western Massachusetts, the state will generate economic activity and recapture the estimated $1 billion that Bay State gamblers spend annually at casinos in other states.

“If we do it right and do not chop up the market, then we can grow large casinos,’’ said Stanley C. Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat who is Murray’s point man on casinos. “If we grow large casinos, then we can maximize our competitive ability within the region, and that leads to even more jobs and revenue.’’

What a scum.

Casino opponents faulted the findings, saying The Innovation Group was too closely tied to the gambling industry and failed to take into account the many costs associated with compulsive gambling, such as foreclosures, bankruptcy, and crime.

The president of Plainridge racetrack sees addition of slot machines as key to the harness track’s success. B5

“It is not a credible report,’’ said Kathleen Conley Norbut, president of the group United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts. “This is a phony, propped-up report to justify the Senate leadership’s mania for casinos.’’

Rosenberg acknowledged that The Innovation Group has industry ties but said Senate leaders chose the firm because it is “very well known and very reputable’’

He's making me sick.


The flip side (pun intended):

"Downside of gambling raises worry; Opponents voice concerns over toll" by Casey Ross, Globe Staff | June 23, 2010

Don't worry, it won't for long.

Now hit me (pun intended)!

As they push to have Massachusetts expand legal gambling, state lawmakers have produced hundreds of pages of economic studies estimating the new jobs and tax revenue that would be created by opening multiple casinos.

But lawmakers have generated little data to estimate the downside of casinos....

Can't see 'em with all that lobbyist loot floating around.


Senators offering flood of amendments

"Senators at odds as casino debate opens; Gambling’s costs, benefits assessed" by Michael Levenson, Globe Staff | June 24, 2010

State senators opened debate yesterday on a bill to license three casinos in Massachusetts, exposing deep divisions over the economic benefits and social costs of gambling.

Over three hours of debate, senators voiced divergent opinions about the plan, and the fissures did not fall along simple ideological lines. The back-and-forth underscored how difficult it could be for the House, Senate, and governor to come to agreement as the end of this year’s legislative session nears....

Yeah, whatever, Globe. I'm tired of the deceptive games and bulls*** posing as news analysis.

Several senators said yesterday that they oppose casinos outright, contending that casinos will destroy small businesses and arts organizations and disproportionately harm low-income residents who can ill afford to lose the money.

“We should not be balancing our state’s books on the backs of the poor,’’ said Sonia Chang-Diaz, a Jamaican Plain Democrat, reiterating her argument that casinos are a “tax on the poor.’’

Oh, they love doing that in this here state and then turning that money over to banks, Hollywood, or whatever other special interest is well-connected.

Related: Mass. State Budget: Balanced on the Backs of Workers

How Massachusetts Balances Its Budget

That's Democratic "liberalism?"

Supporters argued that....

You know, they already get plenty of print.

Jennifer L. Flanagan, a Leominster Democrat who supports casinos, said it makes no sense to oppose casinos out of concern about compulsive gambling.

“If you’re an addict, whether you’re a gambling addict or a shopping addict . . . you seek out that action,’’ she said. “And that’s what’s going to happen.’’ Why not, she asked, close down bars to prevent drinking or fast-food restaurants to prevent over-eating?

Okay, so WHERE are you on POT, lady?


Also see: Massachusetts Meals Tax

Maybe that will get them to stop overeating; it has gotten me to stop going out to eat in restaurants around here.

Senators did not take any votes or consider any of the 164 amendments that have been offered. Some would direct the state’s casino revenue to various causes, such as property tax relief, preservation of historic buildings, and the study of gambling by a research institute. Others would ban smoking in casinos; the current bill would allow it, despite a state ban on smoking in bars, restaurants, and other workplaces....

Yeah, after you guys jam it through get back to me.


"Senate amends gambling bill to ban smoking throughout casinos; Measure may face a final vote today" by Michael Levenson, Globe Staff | June 25, 2010

Debate on casinos continued into the night. The bill, which could reach a final vote today, would need to be reconciled with the House version....

An attempt to raise the tax on casinos from 25 percent to 30 percent also failed. Backers said the higher tax would bring in as much as $100 million annually to shore up state services.

But Senate leaders, reiterating an argument they used throughout the debate, argued that a higher tax would put the state’s casinos at a competitive disadvantage.

But they SURE CAN PILE them on YOU, Massachusetts taxpayers!

And then they wonder why tax revenues are down as people cross into New Hampshire to buy goods and services.

Of course, LEGALIZING THEM is an ADVANTAGE in and of itself, but when you are shoveling s*** who notices the smell, huh?


Related: Casino debate halted for day

"Senators block bids to vote on casino bill" by Noah Bierman, Globe Staff | June 29, 2010

Disagreements over smoking and drinking have prevented state senators from finishing what they really came to debate: gambling.

For the third time in a row yesterday, lawmakers dug deep into the parliamentary rule book to cut off debate on a bill to license three casinos in Massachusetts.

Though debate is now headed into a sixth day, even those who halted Senate business say they believe the chamber will pass a casino bill soon, most probably this week; the House passed its version of expanded gambling legislation in April.

But Senate leaders are showing signs of frustration, especially as more time-sensitive matters are put off.

“In the Senate, you have some unique rules,’’ said Senator Steven C. Panagiotakos, a Lowell Democrat and a casino proponent who heads the Ways and Means Committee.

Panagiotakos said senators have to take an unrelated vote to restructure state debt before the new budget year begins Thursday or they risk cutting another $300 million from the local aid fund that supports services in cities and towns....

Also see: Memory Hole: Massachusetts' State Budget

How Massachusetts Balances Its Budget

Increased taxes for slashed services and corporate welfare, Massachusetts?


: Murray warns of state loss on casinos

What, sky falling?

Got her what she wanted:

"Senate votes for casino licensing; Calls for 3 resorts; deadline looms for accord with House" by Noah Bierman and Travis Andersen, Globe Staff | July 2, 2010

The Massachusetts Senate voted 25 to 15 last night for legislation licensing three resort-style casinos, bringing a Commonwealth once settled by Puritans closer than ever to Vegas-style gambling.

On their eighth day of debate, senators waded through a final list of proposed amendments, clearing one hurdle for a possible casino in Fall River and requiring all casino developers and operators to ensure that they do not hire illegal immigrants....

In this sanctuary state?

See who is going to be getting the jobs, citizens of Massachusetts -- again!

Negotiators do not have much time to work out the differences, with the legislative session scheduled to end July 31....

Yeah, but somehow they will get it down -- and did!


Against All Odds: The Story of How the House Passed Casinos

What the speaker wants, the speaker gets....

"the speaker’s power to strip legislators of their chairmanships and influence drove them to back one of his top priorities.....

My sense is there will be consequences for people voting against this bill — particularly people in his inner circle. People know if they want to chair a committee or have influence, they should think about voting for this bill’’ -- Representative Ellen Story, an Amherst Democrat

Some would call that extortion, but....

Also see: Boston's Prime Parking Spots

Yeah, you can even lose your parking space.

The Perils of One-Party Politics: Speaker's Shoes

And Massachusetts calls it democracy.

"Changes killed with House lining up for casino bill; Leaders may have veto-proof margin" by Michael Levenson, Globe Staff | April 14, 2010

Easily fending off a barrage of proposed changes, House leaders appeared yesterday to have the votes to pass landmark legislation to establish two casinos in Massachusetts and up to 750 slot machines at each of the state’s four racetracks....

Supporters of the bill, on a day of freewheeling debate about the merits and perils of expanded gambling, easily shot down measures that would have required a casino to be built in Western Massachusetts; banned casino operators from pumping pheromones into the halls; required casinos to post the odds of winning on slot machines; and mandated that public health officials intervene with people who gamble for more than 24 hours at a time.

The House, which resumes debate on the measure today, approved only minor changes, including one that would require casinos to buy American-made slot machines. Mostly, lawmakers traded impassioned arguments about the social ills and potential economic benefits of adding gambling parlors, as casino lobbyists buttonholed members outside the House chamber, and union workers and anticasino activists watched from the House gallery.

Backers said the bill offers Massachusetts a historic chance to create thousands of jobs and keep much of the estimated $1.1 billion that Bay State gamblers spend annually on casinos in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Related: Casino Comparisons: Connecticut's Foxwoods Failure

Casino Comparisons: Rhode Island's Red Ink

But don't let the numbers stand in the way of the lies.

Representative Benjamin Swan, a Springfield Democrat who supports the bill, spoke of watching busloads of gamblers leave his economically depressed city every day to spend money at casinos in other states. He said it was time to welcome the casino industry.

Also see: Boston Globe Says Everyone is a Winner at Casinos

“The purpose is economic development and recovery for our Commonwealth and, more specifically, jobs, jobs, and jobs again,’’ Swan declared.

Supporters also promoted casinos as a way to help replenish state and local budgets. House leaders circulated a spreadsheet showing how much each city and town would receive annually of the estimated $100 million in local aid proponents believe the bill would generate from slot machine revenue....

Related: Against All Odds: Winners and Losers

Representative Bill Bowles, an Attleboro Democrat who supports the bill, said: “Say yes to keeping firefighters employed. Say yes to keeping police officers on the street. Say yes to keeping teachers in the classroom.’’

You guys told us that when you raised taxes and we are still seeing service cuts.


House leaders succeeded in beating back amendments by arguing that legislators should not tell casino operators how to run their businesses....

But they should tell us how to run our lives from the food we eat, to the air we breathe, to the things we say.

Lawmakers rejected amendments that would have permitted casinos only in communities with passenger rail service; required them to have clocks on the walls; limited the amount their ATMs dispense; and required them to use mechanical, not electronic, slot machines.

After 17 years of serving in the back benches of the House, Representative Ellen Story, an Amherst Democrat newly elevated to Speaker Robert A. DeLeo’s leadership team, said she wasn’t willing to risk being marginalized, so she will vote for the bill despite opposing gambling bills in the past.

“My sense is there will be consequences for people voting against this bill — particularly people in his inner circle,’’ Story said outside the House chamber last night. “People know if they want to chair a committee or have influence, they should think about voting for this bill.’’

Representative Jennifer Callahan, a Sutton Democrat, tried unsuccessfully to force a public hearing on the bill, which went directly to the House floor for debate. House leaders have argued that the bill did not need a hearing because they held hearings on other gambling bills last fall.

And because of WHO WROTE the BILL:

"Public [is] not welcome.... activity is taking place almost entirely out of public view... and behind closed doors.... the Legislature is exempt from the state's open meeting and public records laws.... able to deliberate in private and guard key documents from public scrutiny.... allowing the public to take part in the proceedings would only bog things down....

Rank-and-file lawmakers currently have little clue about what is going on or what they inevitably will be asked to vote on with little notice.... Legislation was actually drafted by lobbyists and sent to the State House by courier for passage"

Also see: The Perils of One-Party Politics: The Ruling Party


Democrat Fascism posing as a "liberal democracy."

Lawmakers voted down her amendment, 118 to 34. That and other votes like it suggested House leaders have the 106 votes needed to pass the bill with a veto-proof majority.

Indeed, opponents sounded, at times, resigned to defeat. Representative Carl Sciortino, a Somerville Democrat who opposes the bill, said the House was “on the eve of passing legislation that will destroy families.’’

Representative Cory Atkins, a Concord Democrat, expressed frustration that the legislation does not include enough safeguards to prevent gamblers from going too far. “Everything is geared so the house will win, and you will lose,’’ Atkins said....


"House OK’s casinos, slots; Decisive reversal of ’08 defeat; prospects in Senate uncertain" by Michael Levenson, Globe Staff | April 15, 2010

The Massachusetts House yesterday embraced the largest expansion of gambling since the creation of the Lottery in 1971, approving legislation to establish two casinos in the state and up to 750 slot machines at each racetrack.

The lopsided, veto-proof 120-to-37 vote, a landmark moment in the long-running debate over casino gambling in the Bay State, followed a relentless campaign by House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, a track worker’s son who has two racetracks in his district.

Related: DeLeo and His Dad

Yeah, put a bet down for Dad!

DeLeo succeeded in persuading many members who voted against casinos just two years ago to switch their votes....

And we KNOW WHY!

Threats -- same way the last guy got them to turn it down!

Legislators who changed their votes yesterday said the slumping economy had persuaded them that casinos and slots represent a historic opportunity to create thousands of jobs and capture much of the estimated $1.1 billion that Massachusetts gamblers spend every year at casinos in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

“How can we in Massachusetts continue to watch money and people flow to other states?’’ said Representative James M. Murphy, a Weymouth Democrat who opposed casinos in 2008 but backed the bill yesterday. “In my opinion, we cannot.’’

Several also acknowledged that the speaker’s power to strip legislators of their chairmanships and influence drove them to back one of his top priorities.

“This is the bill he has cared about more than any other bill,’’ said Representative Ellen Story, an Amherst Democrat and member of the speaker’s leadership team, who voted for the bill after voting against casinos in 2008. “My sense is that there may well be consequences for people voting against this bill — particularly people in his inner circle.’’

Profiles in courage!

Lawmakers hugged and cheered on the House floor when a beaming DeLeo announced the vote, after two days of impassioned debate over the benefits and dangers of casinos and slots. Outside the chamber, grinning casino lobbyists and union officials, having lost this fight several times before, rejoiced....

The bill now heads to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future....

Senator Stanley Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat who is Murray’s point person on casinos, said it was too soon to predict the shape of the gambling legislation Senate leaders will craft. Senators plan to begin deliberations with a series of closed-door meetings later this month.

“The debate is now fully engaged as the House completes their action,’’ Rosenberg said. “There will be a lot of pressure to move on the issue.’’

Also see: State Senate Shuts Down Slots

I'm so embarrassed he is my puke, even though I never vote for him.

Critics warned of catastrophic consequences from the social ills associated with compulsive gambling. They warned that increases in domestic violence, foreclosures, suicides, and other problems would offset the predicted economic benefit of two casinos and as many as 3,000 slot machines.

Representative Carl M. Sciortino Jr., a Somerville Democrat, spoke of relatives who faced economic ruin and marital strife because of their addiction to gambling. He denounced the House for giving its “blessing to an industry whose sole mission is to strip people of their hard-earned money for nothing more than corporate profit and corporate greed.’’

“It’s not economic development,’’ he said. “It’s exploitation.’’

Representative Matthew C. Patrick, a Falmouth Democrat opposed to the bill, choked up as he recalled how his father, a World War II veteran and high school football coach, became addicted to betting on horses, forcing his mother to raise the family.

“Poverty is no fun,’’ Patrick said. “Using food stamps, getting hand-me-downs, phones turned off all the time . . . I want you to realize this has a real dramatic impact on families. It’s going to hurt families.’’

Too late.

Besides, the"public servants" are more concerned about cash than they are the people.

Opponents also predicted that casinos would destroy local businesses.

Yup -- unless it's drugs or crime.

Gamblers will flock to the betting parlors, but “they’re spending money that in the long run would be spent elsewhere,’’ said Representative Daniel E. Bosley, a North Adams Democrat and longtime opponent of expanded gambling.

Casinos may be fun, but they are the “worst form of investment you can make as economic policy,’’ Bosley said.

He is retiring, and not a moment too soon.

Opponents held out hope that the opposition the governor and Senate president have to slot machines will ultimately doom the bill. DeLeo yesterday predicted the issue will ultimately be resolved in a conference committee this summer, but neither side seems willing to budge....

I never hope anymore, not in this s*** state with its agenda-pushing paper.

By engineering such a wide victory yesterday, DeLeo sent a message that the House could override a Patrick veto.

“I really feel very, very, very strongly about the need to keep the slots component in this bill because of the jobs factor,’’ said DeLeo, whose district includes Suffolk Downs and Wonderland Greyhound Park.

The speaker estimates the bill will create 15,000 jobs, but acknowledges only about 300 of those will be long-term jobs at the state’s four racetracks....

Several lawmakers who voted against casinos in 2008 sought to explain why they backed this bill.

That is not necessary.

One of them, Representative John V. Fernandes, a Milford Democrat, said he believed the current legislation was the safest way to regulate the gambling industry’s expansion.

“Despite all the discussion of the ills and good of the gaming industry, there is a certain inevitability to its march across America and into our Commonwealth, so the question for me was not whether, but when and how, because it’s coming our way,’’ he said.

Also see: Milford Makes Its Move

Another lawmaker who switched positions, Representative Antonio Cabral, a New Bedford Democrat, said some members were probably influenced by the ascension of DeLeo as speaker. But for him, he said, “it’s a different bill, different time.’’

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, Bay-Staters.


Oh, yeah, and all those studies he sighted about jobs, etc?

Guess where they came from?

"Consulting firm works for DeLeo, Legislature" by Sean P. Murphy, Globe Staff | April 16, 2010

The New Jersey-based consulting company hired by the Legislature to estimate the size of the Massachusetts casino market — a market the firm concluded would be quite robust — has also been under contract to provide advice on gambling issues to the political committee of House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo.

Oh, so a bunch of $ELF-$ERVING $TUDIE$ were $PEWED FORTH, huh?

DeLeo’s campaign is paying $6,900 a month to Spectrum Gaming Group for the contract, which began last month as Spectrum was finalizing its public study for lawmakers.

The firm is providing advice to DeLeo, who pushed a bill licensing casinos and slot machines through the House Wednesday....

Is that what they are calling bulls*** these days?


Related: Mayors’ letter backs House slots plan

Menino seeks to end Vornado casino stake