Column: Massachuetts years behind on gaming

"It all sounded rather logical, this scenario for making sense of casino gambling here in Massachusetts as outlined by state Treasurer Tim Cahill.

In the wake of Saturday’s 2-1 approval of a casino for the Mashpee Wampanoags, Cahill told a small forum of business leaders, “The town didn’t get all it should have” and, by the way, “surrounding towns got nothing.” Those 40,000 daily visitors expected to make their way to Middleboro can’t parachute in. A good point, that. And because the Bush administration likely won’t want to tackle the designation of that Middleboro plot to sanctify it as sovereign tribal land before leaving office, the process for getting a casino up and running is likely to take at least two to three years.

Another fair point.

Everybody’s favorite role model, Connecticut, negotiated a deal with its two local tribes that gives the state 25 percent of revenue from the slot machines at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun - which sounds pretty damn good to us. In fact, that put about $500 million into state coffers this year. But, Cahill insists, Connecticut too could have done better. He would prefer a cut of total gross revenues - including a cut of everything from a hand of blackjack to each and every seaweed body wrap at the spa.

Now we’re beginning to think Treasurer Tim has been out in the hot summer sun too long."

Get the Story:
Rachelle Cohen: Squeezing the casino beast: But even gamblers have limits (The Boston Herald 8/1)

More Opinions:
Editorial: Waiting for Patrick's call on casinos (The Daily News Tribune 8/1)
OUR VIEW: On dividing the casino pie (The New Bedford Standard-Times 8/1)

Related Story:
Cahill dismisses slots at tracks (The Boston Herald 8/1)