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Mass House passes gaming bill
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The Massachusetts House of Representatives yesterday passed a gaming bill sponsored by Speaker Robert DeLeo that would establish two full casinos and license 750 slot machines for existing racetracks in the state. The vote to pass the legislation was a veto-proof 120-37, significant because some suspect Deval Patrick would consider a veto of any bill that included slot machines.

Union carpenters in Massachusetts have been lobbying hard to pass gaming legislation because of the estimated 10,000 construction jobs that would be created. A few weeks ago, hundreds of carpenters were part of a group numbering over a thousand that participated in a lobby day, flooding the State House to visit their individual elected officials.

The attention now shifts to the Senate, where brand new legislation may be created and passed. The Senate is expected to hold public hears, which members would be encouraged to attend. Any bill passed by the Senate would then go with the House bill to a House-Senate conference committee where a compromise bill would be negotiated before being sent to the Governor.

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