Massachusetts: Casino vote possible without deal

Legislative leaders are suggesting that Massachusetts lawmakers could move forward with a casino gambling bill even if negotiations with Gov. Deval Patrick fail to reach a consensus on the issue.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray indicated on Monday that the ongoing private discussions with the governor had not yet produced agreement on the parameters of a casino bill. Patrick declined to sign a bill last year because it included slot machines at race tracks.

Murray and DeLeo said they expected a legislative committee to draft a new bill that lawmakers would take up sometime after Labor Day.

DeLeo answered ‘yes’ when asked if a bill could be debated absent a deal with Patrick, pointing out that a similar scenario unfolded last year.

The leaders spoke after their regularly-scheduled Monday meeting with the governor.

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