MA Gambling Revenues are Down Significantly
Massachusetts is not new to the gambling market. In fact, the state is one of the most talked about when it comes to gambling. It is working hard to come up with legislation that allows gambling into the state legally and allows millions of dollars into the economy as a result. As of late, however, things have been different. The state is noting a decline in lottery revenue. According to analysts that is due to the state’s cutback on advertising its lottery.
Governor Duval Patrick is now squaring off against his former ally Democrat Timothy Cahill. Cahill’s platform focuses on Patrick’s “mismanagement” of state coffers. He is using millions of dollars to promote Patrick’s alleged mistakes with millions of dollars in revenue from gambling. One of the main issues is a $8 million reduction in the amount of money that is spent on advertising for the state lottery. Cahill believes the reduction could be the reason for a projected $222 million in revenue losses. Due to an upcoming election, he is using that as his focus.
On the other hand, Patrick refutes the claim that he is mismanaging funds or that the lottery revenues are declining due to a cutback in advertising. He believes that it’s the poor economy and post-recession that is causing the lag in lottery ticket sales. Patrick said, ”The legislative leadership are losing our patience with the excuses with the lottery performance. Just give us a realistic estimate so we can build that into the budget, and not have to do patches and plugs to cope.” Although the issue is hardly settled, state lawmakers are trying to expand casinos within the state. They are hoping to capitalize on the popularity of casinos and online gambling by legalizing and regulating the pastime.
The governor now has allies in top legislative positions. House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray are both in favor of casino expansion. The two leaders have been lobbying fellow lawmakers to make the legal changes necessary to bring casinos to the state. They know the millions of potential dollars that are at stake with the move and want to shore up the state funds. The deficit is another issue that legislators are hoping could be overcome with gambling-tax revenues.