Keller @ Large: Lawmakers Scrap Casino ATM Ban

CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – ATMs and casinos can be a dangerous mix for gamblers, but a last-minute change on Beacon Hill is putting the two together.

ATMs were supposed to be banned from casinos in Massachusetts, but lawmakers changed that on Christmas Eve.

“I am very concerned about allowing any ATMs in casinos,” said State Senator James Eldridge (D-Acton).

But despite the longstanding concern of this state senator and other casino critics that making ready cash available to players would exacerbate compulsive gambling problems, banking industry complaints about restrictions on ATM placement prompted the Christmas Eve scrapping of the ban on ATM’s where gambling occurs, replaced by language that allows them within a few yards of the casino floor.

“We know they’re already very predatory in casinos,” Sen. Eldridge said. “And the ability of some of these banks or financial services to data mine that information is particularly troubling.”

Eldridge is…

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