The tribe's Aug. 30 application, obtained this week by the Times through a Freedom of Information request, bolsters the argument of gambling supporters that a casino in Massachusetts may be inevitable.It "bolsters" the argument that a casino is inevitable? Then, in the next paragraph, the article explains how there's absolutely, positively nothing inevitable about Class 3 gaming in Massachusetts (it has to get through the legislature: the governor already said that he was deferring to them months and months ago). Sure, the Wampanoags could still build a Class 2 Bingo Hall, but as I've pointed out all along, such a building wouldn't even come close to the resort casino so many have been worrying about.
Just what that casino will look like depends on whether Gov. Deval Patrick is willing to enter into a compact with the tribe. Class III gaming requires the tribe to negotiate an agreement with the governor, according to the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The tribe already has the authority to open a Class II casino without such a compact because the state allows high-stakes bingo.
The article later went on to say that the tribe could use bingo slots, that have "the look and feel" of traditional slot machines. That's patently false. According to Representative Dan Bosley,
The difference between "bingo slots" and slot machines are that the bingo slots actually have to play game of bingo. In other words, they are still bingo games and as such are slower than slot machines. Second, you are playing against the rest of the players and not against the House, so the amount of players determines the size of payouts. Since they are less lucrative and slower than slot machines, I would question whether they will be as popular as other venues for those who have choices over where to gamble.Does that "look and feel" like traditional slot machines? No. Furthermore, the article failed to highlight the fact that even these "bingo slots" may no longer exist: they're being challenged at the federal level and may very well be classified as slots soon, which wouldn't be allowed in Massachusetts.
The Wampanoags can kick and scream all they want; there's nothing inevitable about a Class 3 Casino in Massachusetts. Period. Of course, they benefit every time the Standard Times or Globe or any other paper repeats their casinos-are-inevitable meme, but it's just not an honest statement. There's nothing inevitable about Class 3 gambling in Massachusetts - in fact, given the House's record on slot machines in the past, Class 3 Casinos are anything but inevitable.