The Boston Globe reported last night that Governor Deval Patrick will propose licensing three casinos in Massachusetts: one each in Southeastern Massachusetts, Western Massachusetts, and the Boston area.
Governor Patrick reportedly will cite the potential benefits in economic development, job creation, and state and local government revenue generation as reasons to support the casinos. The casino licenses will be awarded based on a competitive bid process. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, which is planning a casino in Middleborough, will be able to submit a bid under this process - or it could seek approval from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. If the tribe goes the latter route, Massachusetts could have four casinos.
The Eisenthal Report has editorialized against the introduction of casino gambling to Massachusetts - and is greatly disappointed in this course of action. TER believes that Massachusetts - as a polity and a community - will pay a high price for the benefits of casino gambling - and that Governor Patrick may pay a very high political price for this decision. This is not the end of the story, however. TER hopes that stakeholders here in Massachusetts will use their political influence to block the implementation of the planned licensing.
UPDATE: Dan Kennedy has a great piece at Blue Mass. Group on this decision.
UPDATE, September 17: Governor Patrick has formally announced his plan for the casinos. TER has the following reaction.