Mass. Senate Tables Casino Gambling Debate

Update:According to the Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray, Sen. Spilka tabled the casino bill, canceling Tuesday's debate.

The Massachusetts Senate is gearing up to resume debate on a contentious casino gambling bill.

Tuesday is the third day of Senate debate on the casino bill and is likely the last day casino opponents can use Senate rules to delay final action on the measure.

Last week, senators made it though about half of the 182 amendments that had been filed, including one contentious amendment limiting how soon legislators would be able to work for a casino. The original amendment set that cooling off period to five years, but after a closed-door caucus, it was shortened to one year.

Another change bans councils on aging from using state funds for trips to out-of-state casinos once new gambling facilities open in Massachusetts.

Time has also been set aside for more casino debate on Thursday, but Senate President Therese Murray has indicated a final vote may not come until next week. The House already approved the bill after a single day of debate last month.

The bill would license three resort-style casinos and one slots parlor in the state.

Supporters say casinos will bring much-needed revenue and jobs to Massachusetts, while critics say expanded gaming will create more social ills like crime and compulsive gambling.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

This program aired on October 4, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Steve Brown Senior Reporter/Anchor
Steve Brown is a veteran broadcast journalist who serves as WBUR's senior State House reporter.



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