One of the most important voices in the casino conversation will finally weigh in today, but only after receiving heavy criticism from gambling opponents for not speaking out sooner.

 

Attorney General Martha Coakley will testify as the Senate takes public testimony on its casino bill.

 

“The Attorney General’s focus throughout this process has been on public safety and public protection,” the AG’s spokeswoman said. “She will emphasize the need to include comprehensive public safety measures if the Legislature adopts gaming legislation.”

 

Coakley’s decision to speak came after United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts called her out.


“I regret that she has not been more vocal ... because I think it would be a tremendous help to the Legislature,” former AG Scott Harshbarger said before Coakley’s announcement.


To date, Coakley hasn’t specifically commented on the House bill passed in April or the Senate bill that is expected to pass this month. She declined to take a casino position while running for U.S. Senate last winter, saying her job would be to enforce the laws.



State House News Service contributed to this report