Gambling gets the adrenaline going. In Massachusetts, emotions over the casinos stalemate are running so high, it has come to unusually feisty political rhetoric.
"We do this over and over again in the commonwealth," said Gov. Deval Patrick earlier Monday, pounding his fists. "We yield to short-term interests of a few powerful people, and we set aside the long-term best economic and social interest of the commonwealth. I said when I ran four years ago that we would bring a difference. This is that difference."
Not according to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who, on Sunday, saw the difference more along the lines of plus-or-minus thousands of jobs and millions of dollars.
"Make no mistake about this. Anything short of Gov. Patrick signing this bill represents a decision to kill the prospects of 15,000 new jobs and bring immediate local aid to our cities and towns," DeLeo said.
But Patrick is standing fast. Not only will he not sign the expanded gambling bill on his desk — a bill that approves three casinos and two slot parlors at race tracks — but he is sending it back to the Legislature with an amendment eliminating the slot parlors all together.
There isn't a single slot machine in Massachusetts yet, but those one-armed bandits already seem to be robbing Beacon Hill of any ability to compromise.
We ask what's next for gambling in Massachusetts — and look at some of the legislation that has been overshadowed by the issue.
- Craig Sandler, general manager of State House News Service
- WBUR reporter Curt Nickisch
This program aired on August 2, 2010.