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Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has received criticism for putting casino revenue money in the budget that ends in 2009. One group has sided with the Governor on the issue.
The Massachusetts AFL-CIO, a powerful local labor union has joined forces with the Governor. They are trying to get legislators to vote on a proposal from Patrick.
“Most people in this commonwealth are aware of the fact that we are a very politically able organization,” said Robert Haynes, the President of the labor union.
The union is joining the fight because of the potential impact that casino gambling could have on the state. It is projected that between 20,000 and 30,000 permanent jobs could be brought to the area from casino expansion. That does not even count the temporary jobs that would be created for the building of the casinos.
“We have over the years been rather successful in electing candidates to office…that share our values and principles, …we are going to use our political strength and our political programs in the legislative process now,” said Haynes.
The majority of their efforts will go towards getting lawmakers to take a vote on the Patrick proposal
Antigua and Barbuda Hoping For Better WTO Result This Time
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The first arbitration hearing held was a disappointment for Antigua and Barbuda. They were seeking $3.4 billion from the United States in a remote gaming dispute. They received an award of only $21 million.
An arbitrator only awarded them that money based on the idea that they were only to be compensated for horse racing, and not all online gaming.
They feel more confident this time around. They have filed a second notice last month. They believe that the outcome of the first arbitration will not affect how the second one will end up.
“It is pretty much the opinion of WTO experts and other country delegations that limiting the damages to horse racing was completely wrong and the experts I have spoken to believe that that ruling will not be followed because it is so completely wrong,” said Attorney for Antigua and Barbuda, Mark Mendel, in an interview with the Antigua Sun.
The United States has made no effort to pay the compensation, and that is if they are intending to pay at all. Mendel believes the U.S. is just drawing out the process. “The reality is that they are just using the process as much as they can to try to extend things out and make things more difficult on us, as they are entitled to do, but we just have to be prepared for that and soldier on,” said Mendel.
The process for the second arbitration could take a while. It could end up being another six months before the new arbitration ruling comes down.