Casinos: Coming soon to a City or Town Near You?

     The Standard-Times of New Bedford has a couple of articles in today’s paper concerning the future of casinos in the Commonwealth.  The SouthCoast area is the home of 2 of the would-be casinos sites: New Bedford & Middleboro.

    The first few quotes deal with the possibility of legislation due to the change of Speakers in the House.  You can access the full story at New Bedford’s casino watchers sense change on Beacon Hill by Steve DeCosta.

The would-be developer of a New Bedford casino is licking his chops as he watches a new consensus to expand gambling develop at the highest levels of Beacon Hill.

“There’s been a sea-change” in legislative attitudes on the issue, said Leon Dragone, president of Northeast Resorts, who is proposing a $1 billion casino on the New Bedford waterfront. “The economic severity is bringing this issue back.”

While Speaker DeLeo said he wouldn’t want to consider the casino bill before the House deliberates on the fiscal 2010 budget, Rep. Flynn said the slot legislation could be taken up this spring.…

     This second set of quotes discusses the renewed hope of the Mashpee Wampanoags to negotiate a casino deal.

Mashpee tribe eyes renewed casino debate by George Brennan.

The state’s renewed debate over expanded gambling could bode well for the Mashpee Wampanoag pursuit of a $1 billion casino in Middleboro, a spokesman for the tribe’s casino investors said yesterday.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Therese Murray and Gov. Deval Patrick met behind closed doors Monday and casinos were one of the topics discussed, according to published reports.

“The tribe watches with interest,” spokesman Scott Ferson said. The Mashpee Wampanoag has applied to put 539 acres in Middleboro into federal trust as an initial reservation. That application is undergoing environmental review by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, with the tribe’s environmental consultants answering questions raised by local and state officials.…

About Brock N. Cordeiro