The bill as it was introduced in the Legislature on Thursday, however, uses a drastically different formula. It directs that the trust funds would each get 2.5 percent of the casinos' "operating license payments" made to the state. Operating license payments to the state are expected to be 27 percent of the gross revenue. Using that formula, state officials would have only $13.5 million available for mitigation and $13.5 million for public health programs.
Even if the bill is corrected to funnel the full $100 million to the mitigation and public health funds, a debate is simmering as to whether that would be enough to cover all the promises the governor made, especially his pledge to ensure that cities and towns do not lose money when their share of state lottery revenue is diminished because of casino competition.
Treasurer Cahill's office says that the State Lottery will see an initial 4% decline in lottery revenue if casinos are built - which means there's going to be a serious dent in the money being sent to cities and towns. Much of the state's lottery funds go to municipalities, while casino taxes wouldn't. Readers will note I suggested Patrick's proposal will lead to less money going to cities and towns, not more, about a week ago. Given Cahill's words on the matter, knowing how entrenched he is in the pro-casino camp, anyone care to disagree?
At the end of the article, Representative Dan Bosely sums up the truth about casinos in Massachusetts.
Bosley said the state's take of gambling revenue will be inadequate to pay for most of the programs and services the governor says he wants to fund.
"They're short in all of the accounts," he said. "There is not anywhere near enough for the lottery. There isn't enough for public infrastructure, mitigation, or all sorts of social ills. The only thing they don't require in this bill is for the casinos to give away a puppy when people leave. It's pie in the sky, and they're not going to do this."