By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has launched debate on a contentious casino gambling bill, but an actual vote may not happen until next week.

The rules in the Senate allow critics to delay action for several days on the debate that began Monday.

Senators also have 186 proposed amendments to wade through, including provisions to require a wider referendum to approve a casino’s location or to stagger casino licenses to one a year.

Casino backers say gambling halls will create 15,000 jobs and bring $300 million to $600 million in tax revenue to the state every year.

Critics have questioned the strength of the economic boost casinos are said to bring. They say social and economic costs, such as gambling addiction, outweigh any potential benefits.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports

The House overwhelmingly approved a casino bill earlier this month.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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