June 21, 2010 | last updated March 25, 2012 1:31 am

Former AG Advocates For Strict Gambling Enforcement

Former state Attorney General Scott Harshbarger has drafted a letter to state Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, Gov. Deval Patrick and others urging the state to establish an extensive official state gambling control apparatus.

Harshbarger, who is currently senior counsel at Boston corporate law firm Proskauer Rose LLP, said the state must "try to mitigate any predictable, albeit unintended consequences" of legalizing casino gambling in Massachusetts.

This week, the state Senate is considering a measure to expand gambling in the state.

In the letter, Harshbarger says the legislature should appoint an independent gambling overseer and a centralized gambling enforcement body.

The overseer and enforcement organizations should be budgeted to share $100 million in 2011, Harshbarger continues. He also says expanded gambling should not commence until one year after the two regulatory bodies are formed.

The regulators should also require that a portion of the state's gambling revenues be set aside for the mitigation of gambling's impact on the state.

Harshbarger, who was state attorney general from 1991 to 1999, also advocates for enhanced white-collar, public corruption, ethics, campaign finance and lobbying laws.


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