DeLeo says position on casinos remains unchanged

By Joshua Resnek

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Responding to reports in the Globe and the Herald on Tuesday that casino legislation is being put off well into the New Year, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said that was simply untrue.

“I have not changed my mind,” he told the Journal Tuesday morning.

DeLeo said time constraints were pushing the casino legislative issue into the New Year.

“There are only three months left in 2009. I didn’t believe the House and the Senate could get together meaningfully in that timeframe with everything else swirling around us right now,” he added.

DeLeo’s statements came as the Department of Revenue issued reports that tax revenues for September were estimated to be off by as much as $200 million – driving the state further into the need for new revenues.

DeLeo said that casino gambling would be taken up very early into the New Year.

This will coincide with the state needing hundreds of millions in new tax revenues to stave off wholesale layoffs and cutbacks in programs.

It is estimated that two casino licenses could raise as much as $400 to $500 million in onetime fees for the state.

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