Before the lights truly went dark on Suffolk Downs, Patrick received a bill for his approval extending the former horse track's simulcasting rights through March, giving the track owners three additional months to figure out what comes next after losing out on a casino license.
Sen. Anthony Petruccelli, who sponsored the original bill that would have let Suffolk Downs takes bets on out-of-state races through July 2016 without any live racing of its own, painted the move as a job saver, linking simulcasting to 100 Eastie jobs. Art courtesy of Wikipedia.
Stop Predatory Gambling and the leaders of Repeal the Casino Deal were quick to jump on an amendment slipped into a banking reform bill on Christmas Eve that would have revised the state's policy on ATMs at casinos.
Sen. Stephen Brewer, who will retire from the Legislature next week, attempted to use the banking bill as a vehicle to clarify state regulations that currently ban cash machines from the "premises" of gambling facilities. The amendment would have restricted ATMs to areas off the gaming floor.
While Brewer and backers say the change was necessary to create a level playing field between state and federal banks and address confusion about the Legislature's intent for ATMs in the 2011 casino gaming law, the swift outrage from anti-gambling groups worried about giving problem gamblers access to quick cash caused the House and Senate to back down on New Year's Eve.
With Attorney General-elect Maura Healey joining the chorus for more deliberation, the banking bill was sent to Patrick without any changes to casino ATM rules.