Thursday, August 09, 2007

Governor Holding Cards Close to his Chest

Governor Patrick, you don't need to show your cards yet, but we're going to have to see your hand before you get any payoff. People already think that the process is rigged in favor of casino gambling -- and in some cases, they're probably right -- that you need to be sure that everything you do is completely transparent. You can hold on to the casino study until you make your final decision, but if you don't release it people are always going to wonder what was so awful in there that the public wasn't allowed to read.

[Update]: Now that I've had some time to think about it, there is one scenario where it makes sense to keep the casino report private. If the report recommends allowing casinos and also lists concessions that the state must seek from Indian tribes and casino developers, it does make sense to keep those under wraps until such time as the Governor gives his Yay or Nay. There's no sense in giving casino proponents extra time to prepare for the eventual negotiations. Still, this report should be released when Governor Patrick makes his decision on whether to allow gaming in Massachusetts -- even if his eventual position is at odds with the study's recommendations.