BOSTON-While local published reports indicate that a gambling study commission has concluded that the benefits of allowing casino gambling in the state outweigh the cost, a source in the legislature tells that the bill to approve casinos is still very much a long shot. The commission was created to explore whether the state should expand its definition of legalized gambling.

The source points out that the conclusion that is being drawn is that the commission will recommend the legislature approve casino gambling because the economic benefits will be worth more than the potential social costs. But he notes that the draft of the findings adds that “much further study” should be done on the issue. The report is scheduled to be officially released on Dec. 31.

Even if the report does recommend that casino gambling be allowed in the state, the source emphasizes that there will be an enormous amount of public debate that will precede any legislative action.

Proponents of allowing casino gambling in the state contend that casinos in Connecticut, such as Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, are getting millions of dollars that would otherwise remain in the state. But opponents insist that the social ills that tend to accompany casino gambling would end up costing more than the gains in tax revenues and job creation.

The source adds that most likely the casinos in this state will not model the ones in Connecticut but rather the “convenience” casinos in Illinois, Kansas or Minnesota. He points out that any new casino in the state is not going to be able to compete with Foxwoods, the world’s largest casino. Therefore, Massachusetts casinos will more likely attract local people and will probably open the door to casino gambling in Maine and New Hampshire.

The source emphasizes that casinos tend to damage a local commercial real estate because most businesses do not want to be located near a casino.

The Wampanoag tribe of Martha’s Vineyard has been trying for years to build a gaming casino. A spokesperson for the tribe has told that the tribe acquired a parcel in southeastern Massachusetts for that purpose but has declined to reveal the exact location. The Mashpee Wampanoags, a separate tribe, and the Nipmucs, which are based in Sutton, have also expressed interested in developing a casino in the state, although they have yet to be federally recognized as a tribe. A tribe cannot build a casino without federal recognition of its status.

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