Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo has now accomplished something that Governor Deval Patrick cannot say that he has done in his term in office. Speaker DeLeo convinced the state House to decide in favor of a gaming expansion bill that he is sponsoring.
House legislators voted overwhelmingly in favor of DeLeo's proposal on April 15th, 2010. The final tally of one hundred twenty-thirty-seven was more lopsided than some had been expecting it would be.
The gaming issue is usually an issue that inspires strong feelings and makes legislative talks interesting. Many of the legislators that voter in favor of the gaming proposal were previously opposed to expanded gambling and building resort casinos in the state. However, some of these legislators believe that times have changed and that it is the right time to introduce casino gambling in Massachusetts.
House Speaker DeLeo's proposal was to allow two casino resorts in the state. Aside from that, horse racing tracks would get the chance to manage a minimal number of slot machines. DeLeo believes that the slot machines will help the tracks attract additional business and stay open despite the economic crisis.
The slot machines are why Governor Deval Patrick is against the legislation. Gov. Patrick discussed a plan in 2008 that would have introduced several casino resorts in Massachusetts. He does not believe that horse racing tracks should offer slot machines. Without the machines, the tracks could be headed towards financial meltdown.
The state Senate will now review the issue and it is not know how the talks in the Senate will turn out. Senate President Therese Murray agrees with Gov. Patrick on the issue.