Thursday, 4:30 PM
Patrick to announce gambling decision this afternoon
(Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/file)
By Globe Staff
Governor Deval Patrick will announce his decision this afternoon about the expansion of casino gambling in Massachusetts, according to a scheduled issued by his staff.
After months of study and a long stretch of public silence, Patrick is holding a press conference at the State House to discuss legalized gaming.
The Globe reported Sunday that Patrick will propose that the state sell licenses for three full-scale resort casinos, citing their potential to spur economic growth, create jobs, and generate new government revenue. The casinos would be licensed in three regions: Southeastern Massachusetts, Western Massachusetts, and an area that includes Boston and points north, officials said.
All three licenses would be put up for competitive bid, in a process that is expected to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in immediate and direct state revenue. Suffolk Downs in East Boston and Revere's Wonderland Park immediately began jockeying for one of the three casino licenses, while gambling foes began mobilizing and vowed a major fight against casinos.
Patrick's plan would not give preferential treatment to the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe, which has already inked an agreement with the town of Middleborough to build a $1 billion resort casino. The tribe would have to outbid other competitors for a license or could proceed with a longer, more arduous federal approval process that could result in a fourth Massachusetts casino. Shawn Hendricks Sr., the tribal council chairman, and other Wampanoag leaders have scheduled a press conference in Mashpee today at 3:30 p.m.