Mass. Speaker: Casino bill not likely this year

September 29, 2009

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BOSTON—Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo is predicting that a bill allowing expanded gambling and casinos in the state likely won't reach Gov. Deval Patrick's desk by the end of the year.

DeLeo said there are still too many unanswered questions -- including what tax rate to impose on casinos, where to locate them and how many to license -- that it would be hard to get a bill passed this year.

DeLeo said he expects a public hearing sometime in October.

DeLeo made his comments Monday after a meeting with Gov. Deval Patrick and Senate President Therese Murray.

Patrick, who supports casinos, said he didn't want the debate over casinos to draw attention away from other pressing issues, including the state's ongoing economic recovery.