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Massachusetts Police To Gain Jobs Thanks To Gambling Expansion

Along with casinos, comes an increase in crime. That is the statement most heard by anti-gaming lawmakers when fighting against expansion in their state. In Massachusetts, lawmakers embraced the idea of gambling, and that means that many jobs will open up in law enforcement.

The casino bill that was passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Deval Patrick will bring new casino resorts to Massachusetts. It will also add a slot license in addition to the three casino resorts. The bill was crafted with the intent on ensuring safety at these gaming facilities, and therefore three new law enforcement units have been created.

The state police will add a division for gambling. The Alcoholic Beverages Commission, the state Gaming Commission, and the Attorney general's office, will all do the same. In all, the four new police units will account for dozens of new employment opportunities to officers who may have lost work during the recession.

The main concern for those who believe the four divisions should be one large unit, is that the agencies will work separate of one another. That is not the case, according to Massachusetts Treasurer Steve Grossman.

"It is all interwoven in a way that says work together, work in partnership," said Grossman. "The Gaming Commission has a role, ABCC has a role, public safety has a role, and they're all in a role that will be fully integrated in a way to protect the public."

With casino gambling, there have been cases of soft oversight in some states. Massachusetts legislators are hoping that by separating the agencies that patrol the casinos, it will keep corruption out. The agencies will all have to work together, instead of one unit having all of the power. It is a system that has worked in several states.

Massachusetts entered the gaming arena last month when Governor Patrick finally delivered on his campaign promise to bring casino resorts to the state. Patrick, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and Senate President Therese Murray worked together over the summer to create a gaming bill that each was comfortable with.

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