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House Again Begins Casino Debate In Massachusetts

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Lawmakers in the state of Massachusetts began debating the future of casino gambling on Tuesday. The House gets the first chance to debate the issue, and then the Senate will weigh in if the proposal passes the House.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo has proposed legislation that would add two casino resorts to the state. Racetracks in the state would also gain the right to offer a limited amount of slot machines under the plan.

Governor Duval Patrick has been pushing lawmakers to approve casino resorts for over a year. The governor's first attempt, however, was denied by lawmakers. At the time, Salvatore DiMasi was the House Speaker and an opponent of expanded gambling.

In recent months, Patrick has indicated that he could possibly veto DeLeo's legislation if it included slots for the racetracks. Patrick would like to see more casino resorts added to the Bill and slots for the tracks removed. that is unlikely to happen during the debates this week.

Massachusetts is one of many Northeastern states that is working towards growing their gambling industry. Competition has become fierce, with major expansion taking place in areas such as Pennsylvania and Delaware.

DeLeo is holding out hope that once the debates are complete, he will have a two-thirds majority that would eliminate the possibility of a veto. If he does not reach the two-thirds requirement, Patrick would then have a chance to turn away the legislation.

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