State Representative Karyn E. Polito (R-Shrewsbury), has complained to House officials on March 29th, 2010, that a plan by Democratic House officials to permit two resort casino facilities and install slot machines at the state’s four horse racing tracks, smells of insider agreement.
Rep. Polito, who is being considered as the state treasurer, said that the licenses should not automatically be awarded to the current horse racing track owners, but instead should be undergo bidding.
A supporter of gaming expansion, Rep. Polito said that she believes the two casino facilities and four racinos that House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (R-Winthrop) is proposing would create a brand new non-tax revenue source for the state and create thousands of new employment opportunities.
But Rep. Polito argued in a letter to House Speaker DeLeo that his approach could affect public confidence in the casino and slots plan.
Polito stated in the letter that they need to avoid any appearance of an insider agreement that will affect the confidence of the people in the state government.
Representative Polito said that she is very concerned that certain special interest organizations including the existing horse racing tracks “appear to have an edge when instead they should be on the same level as any other average qualified bidder”, for the slot machines licenses.
Rep. Polito’s criticism comes as the House Speaker and the House Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technology continues to create a bill behind close doors that would license two resort casino facilities and permit thousands of slot machines at the state’s four horse racing tracks.
Legislators facing an end to formal talks for the year on July 31st, 2010, expect quick action on the bill once it comes out, possibly before the House finalizes its version of the budget. Meanwhile, groups in favor and against expanded gaming are not waiting for the gaming bill to step up their public campaigns.
A group of labor organizations are planning to hold a rally at the Statehouse on March 30th, 2010 to push for casinos and slots facilities at the horse racing tracks in hopes that they would produce new employment opportunities.
Critics will also hold their own protest in the afternoon on the dangers expanded gaming. Governor Deval L. Patrick’s bill to approve three resort casinos was dismissed two years ago at the hands of former Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, who led opposition against the beginning of a “culture of casino gaming” in Massachusetts.