BOSTON -- Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld Wednesday conceded defeat in his quest to bring casino gambling and slot machines to the state.
The governor, who spoke at a news conference, had called on the state legislature to approve three floating casinos and as many as 1,500 electronic slot and video poker machines that would be installed at the state's four dog and horse tracks.
Weld said gambling would create about $125 million in revenues for the state during the first year of operation.
But the state's House of Representatives was unconvinced and removed the measure from its version of the fiscal 1995 budget last month. The Senate Budget Committee isn't expected to include the proposal when it submits its spending plan to the full Senate, probably at the end of next week, according to statehouse sources. Massachusetts' fiscal year begins July 1.
Weld has been a proponent of legalized gambling since taking office in 1991. But powerful leaders in the Senate and the House have opposed the concept.
Last year, the governor said that if the legislature approved his gambling measure, a portion of the revenues from the casinos would go to the construction of an entertainment and convention center, known as the Megaplex.
The plan, which was shot down by the legislature, would have provided about $40 million a year in state money for the Megaplex.
An aide for Weld said that this year's proposal will probably be the governor's last attempt to bring gambling to the state.
In the meantime, another gaming proposal in Massachusetts may have stalled.
The Wampanoags, an Indian tribe based on Martha's Vineyard, looked as if they would have smooth sailing to get state approval for a casino in the economically troubled city of New Bedford.
Recently, however, the state has voiced concerns about whether the project's new group of investors, Carnival Hotels and Casinos Inc., has properly disclosed all financial information.
The Mashantucket-Pequot Indian tribe introduced New England to casino gambling when it opened the doors to the Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, Conn., in 1991.
The casino has provided Connecticut with at least $100 million in revenues each year.