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Massachusetts Gambling Debate Heats Up With DeLeo Preparing Bill

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The debate over gambling expansion has been taking place for several years in Massachusetts. In the coming weeks, the debate is again going to heat up with House Speaker Robert DeLeo prepared to introduce new casino legislation.

DeLeo has been on the side of Governor Duval Patrick since he has taken over for former Speaker Salvatore DiMasi. Patrick had several battles with DiMasi, who vehemently opposed any form of casino expansion in Massachusetts.

Patrick, on the other hand, ran his campaign on a platform that was largely in favor of casino resort expansion. In his first attempt to bring casinos to the state, Patrick was blocked by DiMasi and other lawmakers.

This time around, however, Patrick has the backing of not only the House Speaker, but also of Senate President Therese Murray. DeLeo told reporters this past week that his legislative proposal for casinos would be coming in the next couple of weeks.

While they are in sync with believing that gambling expansion is necessary, DeLeo and Patrick have differing thoughts on how the expansion should be carried out. Patrick wants full-scale casino resorts, while DeLeo favors a minimal casino expansion.

The economic recession has caused lawmakers in many states to examine casino gambling. Millions of dollars and thousands of jobs have been created in places that formerly had no casinos in their state.

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