The House voted 108 to 46 to form a commission to study the impact and social costs of casinos, with a report due at the end of December.
Gambling supporters said the study commission was a parliamentary ruse to prevent a direct vote on the casino bill and to block amendments that would have strengthened Gov. Patrick's bill. They doubted anything would come of the commission.
Rep. Calter said the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe "will be dancing in the streets."
"They will be saying, yes, our sovereignty today is worth more than it was yesterday, because those people up on Beacon Hill are not going to take advantage of the natural demand that is in the state," he said.
The tribe and its deep-pocketed investors have threatened to open a Class II "bingo slots" casino in Middleboro if the state does not strike a deal for a full Indian casino. A Class II facility would not need state approval, and the tribe would not have to share revenue with the state.
Rep. Daniel Bosley, a North Adams Democrat who led the fight against the casino bill, told lawmakers a Mashpee Wampanoag casino is not inevitable.
He predicted the tribe would have difficulty winning federal approval to get land in trust in Middleboro, which other legislators disputed.
Even if the tribe tried to open a Class II "bingo slots" casino--under the argument that the state already allows traditional bingo games--Rep. Bosley doubted they would find financial backers. He said Class II bingo slots games are slower and less lucrative than the Class III slots at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.
"Since there are alternatives here, we think it is going to be hard for them to find financing to put up this kind of a parlor if it ever gets to that point," Rep. Bosley said. "All of these different barriers diminish the chance for this to be inevitable."
Rep. Bosley said the state could also elect to repeal the bingo law.
If you don't want "bingo slots" casinos in your state, there's a simple solution for that too. Don't legalize bingo.
Therefore, it's ridiculous to criticize a tribe for having a "monopoly" on gaming. They have a monopoly only if the people of a state allow it.
Another article says, "The latest plans for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s proposed casino include a 15-to-18 story hotel adjacent to a 3-4 story casino." That seems ambitious for a second-tier casino in a small town. If I were an investor, I wouldn't bet my money on its happening.
For more on the subject, see The Facts About Indian Gaming.
P.S. The Massachusetts situation has been a big story on PECHANGA.net the last few months. As someone who has to post every gaming article coming out of the state, I hope the story dies down for a while. ;-)