Massachusetts reviews gaming revenue funds

Authorities from the Bay State are considering gaming revenues to help boost local development.

US.- Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s Bruce Stebbins has reportedly sent letters to local towns and regional organisations to invite them to submit new strategies to apply gambling tax revenues to local projects. State officials believe that those taxes can help boost local development.

The letters encourage local communities to join together in partnerships that would consider other resources and funds apart from gaming revenues, The Sun Chronicle reported. Those strategies would then be combined and sent to state lawmakers. Paige Duncan, planning director, said that local stakeholders have already received letters from her that promote cooperation regarding the plan. Funds from gaming tax revenue would be subject to legislation, as well as where they would be sent.

State Rep. Betty Poirier, R-North Attleboro, said: “Even with the small casino we have now, the revenues have been good and they’ve been very generous.” The Gaming Commission estimates that with a state take of 25 percent of all gaming revenues, big casinos can generate US$300 million a year, and 9.5 percent of that money would be sent to economic development.

Back in July, cut funding for anti-problem gambling programs by US$250k, leaving said efforts with a US$1.25 million budget. Executive director for the Council of Compulsive Gaming Marlene Warner explained that the state budget, which has just been passed by the Legislature, cuts funding from US$1.5 million to US$1.25 million. Furthermore, the budget had already been cut by US$500k last December.

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