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Romney: I Won't Support More Legalized Gaming
       Midway through his third year in office, Gov. Mitt Romney is serving notice that he won’t support more legalized gambling in Massachusetts.
       In 2003, Romney’s first budget called for gaming facilities in neighboring states to deliver $75 million in payments to Massachusetts in exchange for the Bay State agreeing not to expand gambling in the state. Romney said then that if that didn’t work, he’d push to legalize video lottery terminals that would be similar to those already legal in Rhode Island. But Romney is singing a slightly different tune now.
       He wrote Friday (September 16, 2005)in a Boston Globe letter to the editor, "The last time the Legislature seriously considered an expansion of gaming in Massachusetts, we were facing a $3 billion budget deficit. Since then, we have closed the budget gap without raising taxes and without resorting to new forms of gaming. In fact, over the last two years, we have run surpluses in the hundreds of millions of dollars. I am not proposing, or even considering, an expansion of gaming. If someone were to bring forward a proposal, it is not something I would support given our economic circumstances and the social costs associated with gaming."
       Racetrack owners for years have been unsuccessfully urging the Legislature to allow them to offer slot machines. Lawmakers have been reluctant to endorse expanded gaming in part  because the state Lottery, which funnels money to cities and towns, is so successful. The governor’s pronouncement, and the veto threat implied in it, raises the barrier facing proponents of casinos and slot machines.

(This MassNews Story was Originally Published April 2, 2003)
Passionate Testimony on Gambling—From Both Sides
Residents of R.I. and CT Strongest Against It

House Rejected Slot Machines For State's Tracks

       No fewer than ten bills regarding gambling were heard the at the State House on Monday.
       The hall was packed. The most visible contingent were casino supporters wearing T-shirts with the slogan, "Casinos + Unions = Good Jobs." Despite that sentiment and the growing sense of panic over the state fiscal situation, however, testimony was heard on both sides—in fact several sides—of the issue.

       After Attorney General Tom Reilly made his plea that any legislation include a comprehensive gaming act. Treasurer Tim Cahill asked that the legislature do nothing to harm the lottery, and a parade of legislators and citizen panels testified before the committee.
       The sides taken by legislators who testified before the committee should be no surprise to anyone. Sen. Joan Menard (D-Somerset), a sponsor of one of the pro-casino bills told the committee, "We should site three commercial casinos. This is an opportunity being presented and we should take it." She concluded that the people of Massachusetts have already embraced gambling; therefore this is no big leap into the unknown. She said, "Everybody's grandmother goes to Foxwoods, and they go every week. They go to shows, they go to spas. Is that a good thing? I think so."
       Rep. David Flynn (D-Bridgewater) expressed that he was "very disappointed in the leadership coming from the Governor's office, the [House] Speaker's office and the Senate President on this issue." He asked, "How can we leave $100 million on the table?" He advocated immediately placing 1,500 slot machines in each of the state's four racetracks. ...READ MORE...

(This MassNews Story
was Originally Published April 2, 2003)
Would You Like to Live in Vegas?
       Is it necessary to turn our state into a Las Vegas or a Hong Kong in order to survive? As you may guess, this possibility has me and many others upset. But it has an "up" side also. Finally, we have discovered something that's going to reveal everyone's core values.

       We agree we have almost no manufacturing jobs left. But most Beacon Hill types don't even consider trying to bring them back. They say gambling is required. One of them, Rep. Asselin (D-Springfield) is, at least, honest and frank about his beliefs. He's joined by some desperate citizens who are still living in the once-thriving city of Holyoke without a way to support their families. Also, the Majority Leader, Sen. Linda Melconian (D-Springfield), insists they need a casino out there.
       If we do give a welcome to casinos, it's a given that prostitution will come with it. Why not hurry that up and really get the economy moving? Let the teenagers earn some extra money for their families. We could provide jobs for young female and male prostitutes. Debauchery for everyone.

Atty. J. Edward Pawlick, Publisher

       Maybe we could even get Barney Frank to run it for us. He's had plenty of experience with his homosexual prostitution house where he helped young runaway teenage boys get off the streets with an offer of a shelter over their heads. He could even bring Steve Gobie back to assist him again. While some will say that I am now being "mean," it is the truth about that leader, isn't it? ..READ MORE...

(This MassNews Story
was Originally Published March 3, 2003)
Legislature Divided; Serious Problems Seen Casinos Unwise for Mass., Says Rep. Bosley
       One vocal critic of casino gambling on Beacon Hill is the Chairman of the House Committee On Government Regulations, Rep. Dan Bosley (D-North Adams). Bosley thinks it is unwise both from an economic and social perspective to approve casino gaming in the Commonwealth. He issued a report against casino gambling in April 1997 that he credits with helping to defeat a major casino and slot machine proposal that was voted on soon afterward.
       Bosley tells MassNews he will oppose casino gambling if it comes up again. Asked if he could block it in his committee, Bosley says he could hold it up in his committee for 18 months, but it is not in his nature to do that. While all of the gambling bills have to go through his committee, he says he would fully expect somebody to use the budget process to add an amendment to the budget so that it would go right to the floor. "At some point, we'll have a healthy debate on the floor," he says.
       Bosley thinks there will be a lively debate this year because casino lobbyists are back in force on Beacon Hill.
       Their argument, he says, is, "These are tough economic times, let us put up casinos to ease your burden here and make some money for the state." Rep. Dan Bosley (D-North Adams) is a strong critic of gambling.


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