Senator John Keenan sponsored a public hearing Tuesday night in Abington to discuss the issue of casino gambling in Massachusetts. The House of Representatives is debating a bill that would allow the state to have three casinos and one slot parlor.
Senator Keenan, a supporter of the bill, explained how Massachusetts residents spend $857 million a year at Connecticut and Rhode Island casinos, “I think it’s one when you talk to people out and about in the communities, that is one of the issues that’s always raised. They’ll say ‘all this money is going to Connecticut, why don’t we keep it here in Massachusetts?’ And that’s by some people who aren’t even necessarily supportive of gaming overall.”
Senator Keenan believes casinos will benefit the state financially through licensing fees and taxation. He also addressed residents’ major concern: jobs.
“There’d be construction jobs as they build the casinos and then there’d be long term or more permanent employment within the casinos and within the resorts,” said Keenan
Each casino is required to include a hotel as well as other amenities such as restaurants. Though Senator Keenan understands public concerns about gambling addictions and social costs, he believes the bill is a good step to putting Massachusetts residents back to work. If the vote is approved by the House, the casino bill will be brought to the Senate.