Patrick Casino Bill Goes Bust

Boston – Gov. Deval Patrick’s attempt to introduce casino gambling went down in defeat, 108-46, thursday evening in the House.

The vote came after hours of debate in the House and a marathon 13 hours of testimony on Tuesday.

The Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies decided not to recommend the bill in a close vote – 10-8 – on Wednesday. House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, D-Boston, who has been strongly against the proposal, reportedly strong-armed the vote.

Some supporters said the bill was given short shrift in both debate and testimony.

„It was an excellent hearing,“ Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams, told The Boston Globe. „It was a full hearing — everyone was heard — and then we put a bill out, and it was a bill with an adverse report.“

Bosley, another strong opponent of casinos, is House chairman of the committee.

The governor said licensing three casinos would bring in millions of dollars in revenue and add up to 20,000 jobs. Opponents said the social costs would outweigh any benefits and that the governor’s revenue predictions were far overstated.

In a statement, DiMasi said, „The debate on casino gambling is over.“