New life for Massachusetts casinos

May 6, 2008 7:00 PM

by Ray Poirier | "Massachusetts casinos ain’t dead yet," shouted one of our Bay State readers.

"You can tell Gary Loveman, Sheldon Adelson, and Steve Wynn (all heads of major gaming companies) to crank up their lobbyists for another run at a casino license," he advised.

Gov. Deval Patrick’s plans for three casinos in the Massachusetts were shot down earlier this year because of the influence of one man, House Speaker Steve DeMasi, a strong gambling opponent.

But, the 2-1 vote against casinos certainly did not reflect the majority feeling of the Massachusetts residents. A recent poll by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth favored casinos 58% to 30%.

It might not have mattered except that DeMasi’s political strength has suddenly vanished. Potential scandals involving the House leader has placed his position in jeopardy. And a change would be welcomed by casino license seekers.

"If they dump DeMasi, and it certainly looks now like they probably will, it will mean the casino issue will be brought up again and this time with a much stronger possibility that it will pass," said our informant.

Were that to happen, it would be just what the gaming moguls are hoping for.