Casino issue heats up

May 26, 2008 8:02 PM

by Ray Poirier | His name was not mentioned but surely Sheldon Adelson got the message: Get your plans ready for a Massachusetts casino.

The possibility of casinos in the Bay State seemed dormant earlier this year when powerful House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi used his iron fist to hammer out a solid "No" vote on Gov. Deval Patrick’s plan to permit three casino licenses.

Then, word began leaking out that DiMasi’s ethics were being questioned regarding legislation that would benefit a friend of his. As the conversations grew, DiMasi’s power appeared to weaken to the extent that other House members began planning their campaign to replace him.

Last week, Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill told the Boston Chamber of Commerce that casinos "just seem inevitable. It is an issue that is not going to go away, because they are part of so many states around the country."

But the comment that surely impacted Adelson, and the other announced casino license seekers, was Cahill’s emphasis on the importance "to do them right." To that end, he cited Singapore where two licenses have been granted. One of those was to Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS).

He lauded the way the Singapore government addressed the casino issue, noting that "I think they’ve been done right."