Well, SouthCoast, There Goes Our Casino [OPINION]
My old Christmas tree lights have bulbs that are brighter than some of these Massachusetts politicians. It pains me to say it, but it's true.
Smack dab in the middle of the plague of the century, when Governor Charlie Baker has taken an ax to the economy, the Massachusetts Legislature has again turned its nose up to tens of millions of dollars in new annual revenue by failing to approve sports betting. Because they have, Massachusetts residents who wish to bet on sports must travel to Rhode Island and Connecticut to do so. Lawmakers in those states are most appreciative.
Budget revenue was off by some $2 billion so rather than legalize sports betting, the gang on Mount Whoredom opted to raid the Commonwealth's rainy day account to the tune of $1.5 billion while increasing spending by five percent. Does any of that make sense to you?
Not only did lawmakers boot sports betting, but they also punted on legislation that would have required the State Gaming Commission to produce "an evaluation of economic conditions within region C and surrounding areas with respect to the region's ability to sustain a resort casino."
The legislation also called for a study of the likelihood of an applicant filing for the Region C casino license that has yet to be awarded. Region C, of course, is the Southeastern Massachusetts region. Us.
Anyone who has followed the casino saga since gaming became legal in Massachusetts in 2011 understood that then-Governor Deval Patrick sold out the region and that there would never be a casino here. The legislature made sure of that this week.
I suppose we should be satisfied since we sold our souls, and our right to host a casino, for a train that no one really wants. But buck up, mates, because soon, while the roulette wheel spins in Springfield and Boston, local officials will be cutting the ribbon for the train to nowhere.
We sure showed them.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.