Reporting Beth Germano
BOSTON (CBS) – The lights of Logan Airport don’t come close to matching the Vegas strip, but gambling at the airport is one idea to generate revenue in an amendment being proposed to the expanded gambling bill picking up steam on Beacon Hill.
The amendment, one of 182 attached to the bill that would allow three casinos and a slots parlor, is sponsored by Taunton Senator Marc Pacheco who sees it as an easy revenue maker.
“Throughout the whole year I’m talking about 20 million people coming through the airport. We could capture a piece of that market we’re not capturing now,” he said.
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports
Pacheco believes the slots could generate as much as 14-million dollars, though the amendment does not set a number on the machines. They would only be allowed behind security checkpoints, so once a passenger goes through, the hope is they’ll play.
“Bring them on baby, bring them on, why not?” said Helen Hurley, picking up her husband at the airport. “If there was a slot machine there, I’d be sitting there absolutely,” she said.
Pacheco believes travellers are always looking for ways to pass the time. He says it’s a captive audience that would not compete with the casinos or slots parlor being considered. “The people I’m talking about marketing to cannot get to any of those other venues, they’re waiting for an airplane,” he said.
The Senate is expected to begin debating the bill Monday. Under the proposal, the state could license three casinos spread throughout the state and allow one slots parlor. Developers would have to submit an application to the state’s gaming commission and receive approval from the municipality where they hope to build.
The odds on the amendment for slots at Logan are not yet clear.