Editorial: Gaming boom in Massachusetts

"A year ago, Rhode Island was the southern New England battleground over casinos, until voters in November rejected a proposal by Harrah’s and the Narragansett Indians.

Today, Massachusetts is where the action is. The very day the federal recognition of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe became official, state Treasurer Timothy Cahill — long a declared opponent of casinos — announced he now wants the state to put casino proposals (plural) out to bid. Mashpee Wampanoags, who might have been expected to oppose having multiple rivals, applauded Mr. Cahill’s remarks.

These developments have come too quickly for even civics teachers not to believe they are connected. Without gambling interests in their corner, the 1,460 Mashpee Wampanoags’ appeal for federal recognition would probably not have been noticed by the Bush administration. Had Treasurer Cahill not long contemplated changing his position on casino gambling, he would not have been prepared to make a statement the same day the tribe reclaimed its existence. Had he not already reached a preliminary understanding with the tribe, its members would not have gushed with their approval."

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Editorial: Casino boom in Mass. (The Providence Journal 6/20)