Happy Hour Could Return to Massachusetts

The Massachusetts State Senate has included an amendment in their version of the casino bill allowing local bars and restaurants to once again have a “Happy Hour.”

The amendment included in the State Senate’s version of the Massachusetts expanded gambling bill would bring back “Happy Hour” in the Commonwealth, which has been banned since 1984, in part because of a desire to stem drunk driving incidents.

Currently, Massachusetts law forbids businesses from offering any free or discounted alcoholic beverages.

The new amendment is an attempt for legislators to give local restaurants and bars the same ability that casinos would have in order to compete.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted in favor of a casino gambling bill, passing it 132-32 on Sept. 14. The Senate passed their version of the bill 24-14.

But, even though the State Senate passed the bill, the Restaurant Equality Amendment (Happy Hour amendment) will be up for discussion when the Senate bill is reconciled with the House version. Then, Governor Deval Patrick would have to sign the bill into law.

Paul McMorrow had an interesting op-ed piece in Sunday’s Globe opposing the amendment.

A Boston Magazine blog was in favor of the bill.