EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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February 3, 2013

Morse reveals expanded gaming plan

(Continued)

Hassan also has insisted on strong regulatory oversight.

The Morse bill would provide for regulation through the Lottery Commission and the Department of Safety.

“Two oversight groups would be involved,” Morse said.

Revenues would be available from the gaming license for the state budget in 2014 and 2015, though a casino would not open before 2016, Morse said.

Legislators will be closely watching Hassan’s budget proposal, expected to be announced Feb. 14, for signs that she is looking to gaming as a revenue source.

Hassan has said she would like to boost college funding back to its former level of $100 million. Without new revenue, that’s in doubt.

“There’s no room to do that,” Morse said.

The bill would include protections for charity gaming, Morse said.

“That’a good thing,” Letourneau said, pointing to groups such as the Salem Boys and Girls Club that derive revenue from charity gaming.

Critics of expanded gaming have suggested a casino could undermine charity gaming.

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