North by Northeast


Against Casinos in Massachusetts
9 December, 2007, 11:19 am
Filed under: Local, observations, politics

Casino foes mobilizing against Patrick’s plan – Boston Globe

The League of Women Voters is distributing form letters for members to send to their legislators. It has also enlisted a former Ledyard, Conn., resident to speak about how her community changed for the worse after the Foxwoods Resort and Casino opened.

I’ve mentioned before that I do not support the idea of casinos in Massachusetts. Being from Connecticut, where both my wife and I grew up near the location of those casinos, we have first-hand experience with casinos in New England, before and after. It’s not pretty. The only people who win with casinos are the developers.

There are a minimum of quality jobs created. The low quality jobs are often filled by people who move in from elsewhere, not by locals. With the great expense of housing in Massachusetts, I would be flabbergasted if these jobs paid enough for these workers to have reasonable housing. There is nearly no benefit for local businesses—casinos are ecosystems in and of themselves.

The communities which host the casinos are overwhelmed in regard to infrastructure and services (roads, emergency services, schools, affordable housing). It’s a bad deal all around—except for the wealthy developers—who grow richer at the expense of the community.

[ PS – I have been a supporter of Patrick. But why waste effort on this, how about pushing your Clean Energy, Smart Growth, and biotech initiatives? ]

Update: Just found this excellent source for information on the impact of casino gambling on communities, written by a community group around Middleboro. It meshes very well with my first-hand experiences in Connecticut.

Update 2: Scott Adams sums up my opinion of gambling in general: Urge to Simplify

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