Gov. Patrick Set To Negotiate On Mass. Casino Plans

By Sarah Birnbaum

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July 28, 2011

BOSTON — Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is shifting his tone on casinos.
 
Just a few weeks ago, the governor seemed lukewarm on the prospect of bringing resort casinos to the state, saying it was no longer one of his top priorities. But during a an appearance on radio station WTKK this morning, he said he is now willing to go along with a bill to license three resort casinos and one slot parlor at the racetracks.  
 
“If it helps get a deal, I would accept one slot parlor that is competitively built anywhere in the commonwealth, and I’ve been clear about that with the leadership, and I think that is a framework for an agreement on those principles,” Patrick said.
 
A gambling deal fell apart last year in the eleventh hour of the legislative session, when Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo and Patrick refused to compromise on the number of slot parlors at the race tracks.
 
But on the radio this morning, Patrick sounded confident that he, the speaker, and Senate President Therese Murray would reach a compromise this year.
 
“I think everybody knows that we’re past the point of debate — ‘we,’ meaning just the three of us, and in many respects the Legislature — but past the point where there is or is not going to be expanded gaming,” Patrick said. “We’re talking about how.”
 
House and Senate leaders have said they plan to push for passage of casino legislation in September.

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