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Massachusettts may revisit slot issue

16 June 2008

BOSTON, Massachusetts -- As reported by the Cape Cod Times: "The contentious issue of whether to expand gambling in Massachusetts could be back on the Statehouse's agenda this summer, driven by the Mashpee Wampanoag's effort to build an American Indian casino in Middleboro.

"The House seemingly dealt casinos a fatal blow in March, defeating Gov. Deval Patrick's plan for three commercial casinos by a lopsided vote of 108-46.

"...But Statehouse insiders are now looking at three new fronts in the battle, which will unfold over the coming months:

"A hearing and vote on allowing slot machines at the state's four racetracks is expected in late June or early July, under a promise from House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, a gambling opponent.

"While slots are expected to go down to defeat, some see this as the beginning of a new drive to count and enlist supporters for gambling bills next session.

"...The tribe's spokesman, Scott Ferson, would only say this week that the tribe would initiate compact discussions with the state 'at the appropriate time.'..."

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