When Massachusetts lawmakers legalized casino gambling, they took pains to ensure that casinos would not be built in places where they weren’t wanted or operated by the ethically challenged.
Two years later, those basic tenets of the law appear to be holding. But the result is that only a handful of casino hopefuls remains standing with a key Dec. 31 deadline approaching for final applications.
Casino proposals in West Springfield, Palmer and at Suffolk Downs have been defeated by voters in referendums.
Lengthy and rigorous background checks of casino applicants by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission have also drawn criticism from some would-be operators.
State policymakers are not apologizing. House Speaker Robert DeLeo said while he strongly supports expanded gambling, he also supports local control over casinos.
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