There are several factors working toward that conclusion: Gov. Deval Patrick, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Murray all favor expanded gaming in some form. Also, since Patrick filed his failed resort casino bill in 2007, generating new revenue has become important as ever. DeLeo is currently crafting an expanded gaming bill to release by early February, according to a spokesman.
Still, some barriers remain. Gaming facilities nationwide are reporting declines in revenue — Atlantic City, for instance, experienced a 13 percent drop in 2009. Meanwhile, legalizing gambling is a sensitive topic, and rallying a legislative consensus is no sure bet. Whether Patrick and DeLeo ultimately see eye to eye on slot machines and resort casinos also remains to be seen, according to Clive Barrow a UMass-Dartmouth professor and gambling industry expert.
Calls placed with the chairs of the Committee on Economic Development & Emerging Technologies, which tackle gaming legislation, were not returned.