Massachusetts: voters may decide on gambling expansion

The Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies is considering the proposal.

A ballot initiative for this November may decide if the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) should allow a second slots parlour in the state.

US.- Massachusetts voters may have the choice whether to allow or not another gaming establishment in the state this November. The potential ballot question would decide if the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) should be enabled to issue a second license for another slots parlour.

The Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies is examining the petition, but in the event the Joint Committee does not approve the measure this month, the proponents will have to gather more signatures to get the question on the November ballot.

The proposed bill requires the slots parlour to be located within a certain distance from a horse race track or a location that can accommodate horse racing. Currently there are two existing horse race tracks in Massachusetts: Plainridge Racetrack in Plainville and Suffolk Downs in Boston. Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville got its license under the 2011 Expanded Gaming Act as a slots parlour with harness racing.

The proposed law is calling for the same arrangement, but in a Suffolk Downs in Boston. The Massachusetts’s gaming industry has certainly flourished lately with a slots parlour in Plainville, licenses for casinos in Everett and Springfield, a pending application for a casino in Brockton and a tribal casino in Taunton. Now the committee and ultimately the voters will have the last word.