Departing Speaker could clear the way for introduction of land casinos

If there was one name which stood out in opposition to the introduction of land casinos in Massachusetts last year (see previous InfoPowa reports) it was that of the Speaker in the state House of Representatives, Sal DiMasi.

DiMasi's determined opposition to Governor Deval Patrick's strenuous attempts to obtain political approval for the introduction of three land casinos in the New England state was a constant thorn in the governor's side and triggered some bitter political debate and manoeuvering which led to the ultimate defeat of the proposal.

So DiMasi's surprise announcement Sunday of his intention to resign immediately presents the governor, already gearing up another attempt to get the proposal through, with a better chance of succeeding this time around.

One city manager summed it up when he observed: "When a new speaker takes office, casinos will get a fresh look." And the powerful coalition of city officials, union leaders and business groups who support casino gambling will also take fresh heart.

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