DeLeo Still Fighting For Mass. Slots

Published: February 1, 2011 01:51 pm EST

If anyone thought Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo had given up on slots at Plainridge Racecourse and Suffolk Downs, he straightened them out yesterday

, telling newsmen he intended to battle Governor Deval Patrick on the issue.

He speared the governor on Patrick’s failed Evergreen Solar project, which got $58 million in state aid before it decided to lay off 800 workers and move the operation to China.

DeLeo said he was “having a little fun” with the governor by bringing up the Evergreen failure, but he appeared dead serious yesterday when he pointed out again that it would take several years to get casinos built and running.

“It’s important that we have an immediate form of revenue to help our cities and towns,” he said, and he clearly feels giving slots to tracks is the quickest and most effective way of doing that.

He doesn’t want the proposed 1,000 slots at each track reduced, either, saying, “If you water it down to one (track) or a fewer number of slots, you have to realize you are then drastically reducing the number of jobs and you are drastically reducing the amount of local aid. To make this work, to keep those local aid figures up, I think you have to have a reasonable amount of slots.”

(Harness Tracks of America)

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