Bill for slots at tracks dead for this year

Alice C. Elwell

State Rep. David L. Flynn, D-Bridgewater, said the Senate refused to allow action on the measure to legalize slots at the four race tracks, but he’s not giving up.

While the bill to legalize slot machines at the state’s four race tracks has been killed for this year, Flynn said the ailing economy facing the state will only get worse, and his bill will look even better next year.

Flynn, whose district includes Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park, says licensing fees from the state’s four tracks would generate $400 million immediately, and $500 million annually in revenue to the state.

This week, the two track owners sent letters to every city and town in the state, as well as every state representative, detailing the money they’re losing without slots at the tracks.

Flynn blamed Senate President Therese Murray and Sen. Michael Morrissey, co-chairman of the Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, as obstacles to the bill. “You can’t have a hearing on a bill that the Senate has refused to admit,” Flynn said.

Both Murray, D-Plymouth, and Morrissey, D-Quincy, deny the charge.

“It is unfortunate that representative Flynn would make such an accusation. It couldn’t be further from the truth. He either misunderstands or has been misinformed,” Murray said in an e-mail.

“No way do I oppose a hearing on the slots bill,” said Morrissey, D-Quincy, a longtime proponent of expanded gambling. “I sponsored one of my own.”

Yet Morrissey said Flynn’s slot bill has as much chance of passing as “Christmas in July.”

The Enterprise