The following article appeared in The Boston Herald. I guess the state considers it "inevitable."
Casino gambling in the Bay State is moving closer to reality.
Senate President Therese Murray told business leaders yesterday that lawmakers are working with state Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office to craft casino regulations that would be ready by the time expanded gambling is approved on Beacon Hill.
“We want to have a regulatory structure in place before a bill comes out,” she said. “I’m told that gambling brings certain types of crime, such as money laundering and gang activity. We want to make sure that we have the regulatory authority to oversee whatever comes out of the Legislature.”
In April, Murray said that she, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Deval Patrick had agreed to support expanded gambling legislation this fall.
Murray acknowledged that the discussions are under way despite the fact that Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut laid off 67 employees this week and slot revenues are off.
“There’s still up to $900 million going out of the state to Connecticut and Rhode Island gambling facilities, and we’d like to capture that,” she said.
With consumers spending less money on gambling amid the economic downturn, Connecticut’s Division of Special Revenue reported that slot revenues at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have fallen by 7.5 percent to $736.4 million for the first six months of 2009 compared to $796 million for the same period last year.
Still, a recent study of gambling in Connecticut found that Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have contributed nearly $5 billion to the state and municipal governments since 1992.
Last year, Massachusetts residents accounted for 31 percent of the patrons at Foxwoods and 17 percent at Mohegan Sun, according to the Center for Policy Analysis at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.
Coakley did not return a call seeking comment