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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

So why bother with casinos at all?

Good move by Deval Patrick to formally oppose the Mashpee Wampanoag bid for a casino in Middleboro. But if there's no Indian gaming there, why do we need casinos at all?

I haven't jumped into this issue with the fervor of others -- and my insistence on the House taking up Patrick's casino proposal is based more on the need to address revenues questions than it is a desire to sit in front of a slot machine.

There was something truly rotten in the process by which Middleboro residents were forced to sit out on an open football field in July and approve a proposal that would have brought traffic nightmares, over development (and questionable financial rewards).

And not that it would mean a lot in court, but the process leaves a lot to be desired, witness this comment from Dennis Whittlesey, an attorney specializing in Indian gaming:
"The governor can complain all he wants, but it does not matter," Whittlesey said. "He has no input."
But not so fast. I recall a comment a couple months back from House Economic Development and Emerging Technology Chairman Dan Bosley suggesting that there is no inevitability on the subject of full-blown casinos:
Yes, the Wampanoags can do anything we legally do now. However, they still have to get land placed in trust and that is not automatic. They then can only have the so-called "bingo slots". These are not only slower, but you play against the pool of players, not the house, so they are less profitable. That calls to question as to whether the financial backers will stick around...
So the bottom line? Patrick is right to oppose the Middleborough proposal because it stinks to high heaven. But the let's get the best deal because it's inevitable argument is fading fast and the cost-benefit analysis is leaning to the cost side.

But the Legislature needs to get off the dime and hold hearings about the three-casino proposal. Kill it outright and let's move on to other ways to shore up our sagging financial base.

Like closing corporate tax reporting loopholes. Wal-Mart doesn't have the legal standing Indian tribes do. Just a similiar amount of cash as the tribes and the casino operators -- and way less than the rest of us.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not on this topic, but don't you think it is strange that Hillary has the resources to loan %5 million to her campaign and yet no one ever talks about her wealth. How and when did the Clintons make so much money that they can spare $5 million in cash? To have that much in cash must mean that their total worth is many times that.

February 07, 2008 7:38 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Well it is no secret that Bill has made a ton of cash with folks like Ron Burkle and the Kazakhstan deal the Times reported on -- and Hillary said had some best-sellers. I'm sure it will all come out in the wash if she wins the nomination

February 08, 2008 5:58 AM  

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