|In America, the contentious debate in Massachusetts on whether to accept Governor Deval Patrick's proposals for three land casinos while also outlawing online gambling has taken an interesting turn as the eastern state has commissioned an outsourced expert report.|
Opponents of the proposal have criticised the move by claiming that the Governor has hired a pro-casino firm in a pre-emptive strike but administration officials have rebutted these suggestions by stating that the experts would be independent.
According to the Boston Globe newspaper, New Jersey’s Spectrum Gaming is being paid $189,000 by the state to analyse the Governor's plan to license three casinos in Massachusetts and will report within three months.
Critics state that Spectrum was hired only after Patrick’s office extended the period when groups could bid on the contract and, in addition, was the only group to respond. Casino Free Mass, a coalition of organisations opposed to casinos, has called on Patrick to rescind the contract and allege that the organisation is biased.
'This is just another example of how the casino industry tries to control the information and rig their games,' said Doug Bailey, Spokesman for Casino Free Mass.
'This study, whatever it says, will be dead on arrival.'
In the past, Spectrum has been hired by a wide range of firms including Harrah's Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands, both of which are hoping to develop in Massachusetts, along with government agencies studying casinos in Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey, and California.
'Spectrum Gaming is an independent, third-party firm with specific expertise in the gaming industry,' said Kofi Jones, Spokeswoman for the State’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
'Most of their work is on behalf of government agencies around the world where they have performed extensive economic-impact and feasibility studies.'