Slots a good bet for Mass. tracks

Sep 16, 2003 9:49 AM

ptimism around here," said our East Coast pipe. "The feeling seems to be that the lawmakers up on Beacon Hill will come around and approve slot machines for the racetracks."

That would be a complete reversal of previous action. Earlier this year, the Massachusetts House turned down a proposal for the expansion of gambling in the Bay State. This despite the fact that, like so many other states, the budget was in dire need of a cash infusion.

"My understanding is that something will happen sometime this fall," said the pipe. "It looks like Senate President (Bob) Travaglini whose district includes both Suffolk Downs and Wonderland Park is going to lead the fight. At least you can expect gambling expansion to be debated in the Senate. And it wouldn’t surprise many people if the debate included casino gambling."

When the House was in session last spring, it defeated by a 86-65 vote a plan to put slot machines at the state’s four racetracks. Since then, however, the state treasurer, who runs the lottery, expanded Massachusetts’ keno operations, thus encouraging the track supporters.


PAPA’S HOMESICK FOR VEGAS: Former GamingToday columnist Papa Joe Chevalier who now hosts a national sports talk show out of Chicago, said he wants to do his national radio show fulltime from Las Vegas.

Papa Joe, who was at Mandalay Bay for six weeks prior to and after the Super Bowl, is on another month-long stay at the Bay. Chevalier last week competed against Dave Malinsky in the annual Stardust Invitational Handicapping Contest. GT’s own editor, David Stratton, takes a shot at the contest in a few weeks.

On Papa’s syndicated Sporting News radio show, he said that he intends to negotiate with TSN for a full-time show from Vegas. He implied that if that didn’t happen, he might do the show here anyway. Apparently Papa Joe has had enough of the windy city (can you blame him?) and longs for the Vegas good life!


GIVE ME ONE MORE CHANCE: That’s probably what Caiddree B. Harris is hoping around this time. He was arrested last week and charged with robbing the Isle of Capri casino in Lula, Miss. The robbers got about $65,000 in the heist, but they were nabbed almost immediately and the money was recovered.

But for Caiddree, a 17-year-old from Tunica, Miss., it was the second time around. He was out on $10,00 bond for a casino heist in May.