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Scott Harshbarger

Independence crucial to state gambling commission

By Scott Harshbarger
December 3, 2011
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The debate over legalized gambling in Massachusetts is over, but we have only begun the most critical aspect of the law - its implementation. Although I oppose the law, many of its negative effects can be mitigated by smart appointments and wise actions by a truly independent gambling commission. With the power to decide who gets licenses, where they are located, what the standards and rules of the game will be, as well as regulating casinos, the new commission - once appointed by the governor, attorney general and treasurer - must act quickly in several key areas to protect the public interest and ensure public confidence. While I vehemently opposed this law, I believe many of the negative effects can be mitigated by smart appointments and wise actions by a truly independent Gambling Commission. Our best hope to mitigate the dangers and maximize the opportunity of casinos lies in the powerful but yet-to-be-named members of the commission, particularly the chair.

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