Rays of Hope Seen in Massachusetts VLT Vote

Legislation to legalize video lottery terminals at Massachusetts racetracks failed to pass the state House of Representatives April 15, but racing industry officials remain upbeat, according to published reports.

The vote was 86-65, but the Boston Globe reported the tally was considered positive. Racing leaders said VLTs might have another chance later this year.

"I'm disappointed, but it's not over and we hope we get another chance," Suffolk Downs chief operating officer Bob O'Malley told the Globe. "I think over the next few months, when people come to grips with (a $3-million budget shortfall for 2004), revenue programs will get a second look."

Racing officials said a majority in the Senate favors the bill. Plainridge Racecourse president Gary Piontkowski told the newspaper if VLTs are included in the Senate budget bill, they could be approved in conference committee.