A recent article in the Boston Globe reported that Governor Deval Patrick, who has been trying to push through a piece of legislation that would ban online gambling in the state of Massachusetts making it a criminal offence, is pushing forward with a $189,000 casino study. Governor Patrick has decided to move forward with this study despite the fact that his plans for brining casino-style gambling to his state are immobile until next January following a grueling debate by the state legislature.
Spectrum Gaming of New Jersey will be conducting the study. Spectrum Gaming is a full service international gaming consultancy group with a highly prized reputation for integrity and experience. Daniel O’Connell, the State Economic Development Secretary, responded to questions about the study in a statement that was released earlier this week. In the statement, he acknowledged that his office would allow Spectrum Gaming of New Jersey to complete its work.
Spectrum has already completed a month of work on the contract and expects that it will need two more before they have finished the study. They have not yet billed the state of Massachusetts for their services. O’Connell has said that the administration is sticking with the study based on questions posed by lawmakers during the recent casino debate.
Last week’s debate resulted in the House killing Governor Patrick’s bill. If passed, the legislation would have approved the building of three resort-style brick and mortar casinos and would also have included a clause that would have made Internet gambling in Massachusetts a felony.
An excerpt from O’Connell’s statement reads, “We have been encouraged by our colleagues in the Legislature to obtain a credible and objective analysis of the impact of expanded gambling in the Commonwealth. We believe the outcome of this analysis will prove valuable for future public policy decisions.”
Some legislatures disagree with the current study and believe that it should be cut in order to save state funds because the issue will be stale by the time it reaches the legislature again in January. "The administration should pay the consultants for the time already put into the study and be done with it," said state Representative Daniel E. Bosley, co-chairman of the committee that spoke out against Governor Patrick’s casino bill. "If the governor files his casino bill again next year, the study will be almost a year old at that time."
State legislators defeated the governor’s proposed plan by a margin of 108 to 46. Although not a wide enough gap to be called a landslide, the decision was decisive one to be sure. Only time will tell whether or not Massachusetts’ governor will continue to push for illegal Internet gambling while trying to fill up another state full of resort-casinos in what has so far proven to be a stunning display of contradicting interests.