Incoming Mass. AG Maura Healey calls for open debate over amendment to allow ATMs on casino property

12.31.2014

Originally posted on MassLive.com

By Robert Rizzuto

As the Massachusetts House is poised to consider an amendment allowing ATM machines on the campuses of casinos, incoming Attorney General Maura Healey is calling for an open debate over the provision which was quietly tossed into a banking reform bill on Christmas Eve.

Incoming Senate President Stanley Rosenberg of Amherst told the State House News Service, which initially reported on the amendment, that the intention of the provision was to keep ATMs off of the gaming floor but to allow them in other parts of a resort casino, like a dining or retail section.

But his statement did little to ease concerns from casino gaming opponents, including Healey, who campaigned against the state's 2011 Expanded Gaming Act as she ran for AG. In a statement on Wednesday, Healey said the amendment should be carefully considered before making any moves to pass it ahead of the Jan. 7 end of this legislative session.

"Efforts to lift the ban on casino floor ATMs should to be carefully considered and openly debated, not rushed through in the waning days of the legislative session," Healey said. "The impact on consumers needs to be considered up front, not punted until after the restrictions are lifted. I urge the Legislature and Gaming Commission to tread carefully and promise a full, public hearing in the next session."

If passed, the amendment would give the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to regulate the location of ATMs on the campuses of casinos in the Bay State. And although the language of the clause doesn't include specific limitations, Rosenberg said he's convey to the commission the preference to keep them away from the slot machines and other gambling amenities.


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