Arlington bets on casino revenue

Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed budget for fiscal 2009 includes revenue from casino licensing fees, even though casino gambling has not yet been approved by the Legislature (see Boston Globe story by Frank Phillips). Now town goverments may follow Patrick’s lead, if a story by Shauna Stavely in the Arlington Advocate is any indication. Stavely reports that Arlington town officials are basing revenue projections on the assumption that casino money will make up for any shortfall in aid from the state lottery. Town manager Brian Sullivan says that $657,000 in local aid "depends on the casino plan," adding that "if support can’t be garnered for casino revenue, then [the governor and the Legislature] need to find it somewhere else."

A reminder: Contributing writer Phil Primack examines the economic assumptions behind Patrick’s casino plan in the current issue of CommonWealth.