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BRIEF: Mass. considers Vegas-style casinos

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
BOSTON (BP) -- Las Vegas-style casinos could be coming to Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts House passed a bill Sept. 14 that would add three resort-style casinos and one slots-only gambling parlor to the state, the Boston Globe reported. The Senate has yet to take up the bill, but Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, has signaled support. The bill passed the House, 123-32.


States are increasingly looking to gambling as a way to make revenue in a tough economy, but critics say the revenue is more than offset by the social problems -- such as addictions and broken families -- that accompany gambling.

"For years the Massachusetts Legislature stood proudly against the regressive proposals to bring expanded predatory gambling to our state, even as surrounding states decided to build casinos and slot parlors," said Massachusetts Family Institute President Kris Mineau. "... While we will not see it for a few years, the long-term costs of expanded gambling to our families will far outweigh any short-term benefits.

"My hope," Mineau added, "is that the state Senate will stop this runaway train before it gets any further on its path of destruction. If they fail, I challenge Governor Patrick -- who has long opposed slot parlors for their extreme addiction rates and zero economic benefits -- to keep his promise and veto this flawed proposal."

Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press.

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press

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