The Globe and others are reporting on DeLeo's recent public statements, saying he's in favor of a bill legalizing casinos in Massachusetts. This differs from his past stance because he was previously in favor of allowing casinos only if slots were allowed at the tracks. Color me a skeptic.
DeLeo has not one, but two race tracks in his district - horse and dog. Is he suddenly going to backtrack on those two, powerful interests within his district? Don't bet on it.
This is mere speculation on my part, though an educated guess: DeLeo's recent statements are just to shape the debate and help get the ball rolling, adding pressure on the opposition, pushing the "inevitability" meme yet again. It's a psychological boost for the industry and those in the legislature that want to feed billions to that industry, but not much beyond that.
DeLeo will not willfully allow slots to be passed in Massachusetts, but not at the tracks. Either he thinks he can use his public statements as momentum to pass casinos and tack racinos on as an amendment, or he thinks he'll be able to pass them in a separate bill, using complaints across the state house over the 5 year waiting period before a casino could be built as a means to push racinos through after. After all, a racino could be ready before the trees next bud. Maybe he'll even use that very line (anyone in need of a writer?). Bottom line: the DeLeo/Pacheco/Flynn quest toward Racino, Massachusetts hasn't evaporated. So long as those tracks are open, it never will.