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Opponents Fighting Slots-Only Gambling Parlor Coming To Massachusetts Town

Worcester Could Be Home To New Facility Pending Deal

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Boston

Some in Worcester are fighting a slots-only parlor from coming to the town, the Telegram & Gazette reported Sunday. Discussions are still underway about whether to allow the construction to begin on the new gambling facility.

In 2011, Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill into law that allows for three full-scale casinos and one slots-only casino in the state. Massachusetts was then the 40th state to legalize casinos and slot parlors. Gambling in the state had previously been limited to forms of horse racing and a lottery. The bill was about creating jobs, politicians said.

Patrick had been pushing for casinos in the state since 2008.

The legislation created a new Gaming Commission, which will be given the power to select one casino in each of three regions in the state. A developer who wins a bid must pay a $85 million license fee and invest at least $500 million in the brick-and-mortar operation. The selection process is still ongoing.

The casinos will be taxed at a rate of 25 percent of revenue. The slots-only casino will have to pay less in fees, but will be taxed at 49 percent.

The revenue generated for the state is set to be divided up in areas such as transportation infrastructure, anti-addiction services, the arts, race horse development, health care reform efforts, and public safety. Critics of the bill argue its effects on crime, corruption, addiction, local businesses and the state lottery.