While the Senate and House leaders in Massachusetts have been working very hard to hammer out a bill that will lead to the legalization of casinos and perhaps slot machines at racetracks, many people have forgotten the most important man of the hour. As in most cases and in this one in particular, there most important man in the state is none other than Governor Deval Patrick.
Things initially looked promising for gambling expansion in the state. The House of Representative easily passed a bill that advocated the construction of two commercial casinos and the operation of slot machines at racetracks. Shortly after, the Senate passed a bill that would oversee the creation of two commercial casinos and one tribal casino. From that point it seemed a small task to figure out how some sort of compromise to present a unified bill to Governor Deval Patrick, who also was a major supporter of casino expansion.
Initially Governor Patrick wanted to play an influential rule in the negotiation process. However, as the negotiations slowly worked itself into a stalemate, the Governor has taken a hands of approach – essentially removing one more chef from the overpopulated kitchen.
“There’s a concern, given the fact that there are what, five days, six days, for an awful lot to get done,” said Governor Patrick.
“And it may not get done.”
Legislators only have a single week left to get a unified bill in place. It would be a shame for them to come up empty handed after putting off so many other important issues.