BOSTON (CBS) – “He who hesitates is lost,” wrote the 18th-century British writer Joseph Addison, and Massachusetts may soon be learning that lesson the hard way, as we appear to be limping toward the casino marathon finish line just in time to find the post-race party is over.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
The state cut a new deal Wednesday with operators of the tribal casino proposed for Taunton that could significantly cut – or even wipe out – the revenues we stand to gain from it.
If a slot parlor opens up in the region, our cut could drop to 15 percent; if a full-fledged casino opens, it might drop to zero.
Meanwhile, as our careful, plodding casino-approval process heads into its second year, Rhode Island is poised to open table games at Twin River. New Hampshire could soon give final OK for a casino, likely close to the Mass. border. (By law, our background checks have to take at least six months; New Hampshire’s are kept to four months at most.)
And while we’ve been dragging our feet and fighting tooth-and-nail about where our three resort casinos should go, the bottom has dropped out of the resort casino business. The trend lately, say the experts, is for more traffic at slot parlors, which we cleverly limited to just one outpost here.
Listen, casino fans, I get it: most of the action in Rhode Island and Connecticut is Massachusetts gamblers, and whatever jobs and revenue are generated will be welcome.
But we’d better start to face this truth: we hesitated too long, and now, the casino pot of gold is looking more and more like a mirage.
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