My hat goes of to Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. Here is a man that clearly thought it was time to expand Massachusetts’ gaming offers with casinos, but refused to go forward with it in a way that he felt harmful to the state’s profit. On the other side of the Governor Patrick token is House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. House Speaker DeLeo felt it imperative that the state allow slot machines to operate at racetracks, that way the tracks can maintain the jobs they offer the community.
It was not just Governor Patrick looking forward to slot machines. Most of the influential figures in the Massachusetts legislature were prepared to legalize casinos, even the Senate President was on board. However Governor Patrick, willing to compromise, said he could accept a small amount of slot machines in slots parlor venues around the state, but the House Speaker pushed to hard he would send the bill back and ultimately kill it with a veto. The other concern he had was about just handing over slot machines to the racetracks. He warned legislators that he was not about to give a no bid contract to racetracks.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo threw all this in the governor’s face during the negotiation process over the bill. It is possible that he believed that the Governor would never throw away such an opportunity to legalize slot machines and casinos. He took a gamble and it appears that he guessed wrong as Governor Patrick threw the bill out.