Let There be Slots – Patrick should yield so lawmakers can green-light casino legislation

Thursday, July 22, 2010
By Transcript Staff

Gov. Deval Patrick is a smart man who, we believe, truly wants what is best for our state and its citizens. But his opposition to slot machines at state race tracks as part of the comprehensive casino bill awaiting legislative action strikes us as oddly wrongheaded and completely out of touch with reality.

It also smacks of elitism. The governor is in favor of resort style casinos that will cater to the rich who can afford the overly priced restaurants, exorbitantly priced big name shows, and ritzy spas.

But on the other hand, he wants to deny to regular people the opportunity to have some fun by throwing a few quarters into a slot machine at a race track.

The bottom line is this: Massachusetts has waited far too long to do what almost every other state is doing relative to legalized gambling. And while it may have been a point of pride for us to proclaim that we were the only one of the 50 states not to have supported Richard Nixon in 1972, our failure to move forward on the casino gambling bill is strictly foolhardy.

Each and every day Massachusetts citizens go elsewhere to gamble, costing our state millions of dollars in much needed tax revenue. For Gov. Patrick to draw a line in the sand over the minuscule matter of slot machines is absurd.

Slots at the tracks will bring instant cash to our state coffers and help save jobs at the struggling tracks. It is the proverbial win-win-win situation.

We urge the governor to adopt the casino bill put forward by the House and let’s move forward into the 21st century.

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