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September 23, 2021

Yogonet consulted Seth Gitell, Spokesman of Speaker DeLeo, promoter of the bill

Massachusetts, a step closer to gambling expansion

(US, exclusive Last April 14th, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo’s expanded gaming proposal. The bill- which authorizes two resort-style casinos and up to 3,000 slots in the state's four race tracks- brings Massachusetts a step closer to gambling expansion. consulted Spokesman of Speaker DeLeo on this issue.

This legislation is a jobs bill that will create economic opportunity and keep our residents employed,” Speaker Robert DeLeo said after the approval. As supporter of the law, he added: “It is a balanced approach that maximizes the benefit to Massachusetts and helps our economy by directly creating jobs and revenue over the short term and long term. My concern is for the workers who struggle every day to make a living, and this bill will be a significant help to folks across the Commonwealth who are trying to support a family.”

As two years ago legislators voted overwhelming against a similar bill, consulted Seth Gitell, Spokesman of Speaker DeLeo, on the changes in the scenario or the conditions that caused this modification: “Speaker DeLeo believes the bill passed by the House last week was stronger and more comprehensive than the prior gaming legislation brought before the House. Further, he thinks the biggest change between the last time the House voted and now is the changed job climate. Members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted for a comprehensive jobs bill to address one of the greatest current social ills – joblessness”, pointed Gitell.

The bill will create an estimated 15,000 jobs in the Commonwealth, deliver us$ 260 million in up-front licensing fees to the state and bring an estimated us$ 300-500 million in annual tax revenue. It directs all revenue generated from slots to cities and towns in the form of local aid until resort casinos are operational.

To oversee expanded gaming in the Commonwealth, the legislation creates the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, headed by a five-member professional board appointed by a majority vote of the Governor, Attorney General and Treasurer. The Commission, which will be funded by fees and assessments on gaming operators, will administer casino licensing based on a rigorous regulatory scheme.

With regards to gambling addiction, the legislation dedicate us$ 5 million annually to addiction treatment programs. This funding will derive from an annual assessment placed on all gaming operators.

Considering the social impact it would have, this bill dedicates the state’s annual gaming revenue as follows: 30 % to a new Gaming Local Aid Fund to help cities and towns fund essential government services; 30 % to an Education Fund; 30 % to restore the Commonwealth Stabilization Fund, which has been utilized to assist the state through this recession; 7 % to a Local Capitol Improvements Fund; 2 % to a Community Mitigation Fund to offset costs incurred by communities affected by gaming; and 1 % to the Massachusetts Tourism Fund.

From the revenue generated through licensing fees, us$ 50 million will go toward targeted investments in the state’s manufacturing industry, us$ 40 million will be dedicated to capital projects in cities and towns, us$ 25 million will be dedicated to workforce development programs and us$ 3 million will be used to promote tourism.

Now the bill will be treated by the Massachusetts Senate, a process that could take months, and final legislation must be approved by Governor Deval Patrick, a casino supporter. 

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