“People will spend a tremendous amount of money in casinos, money that they would normally spend on buying a refrigerator or a new car. Local businesses will suffer because they lose customer dollars to the casinos.” —Donald Trump
No on #3. Repeal the Casino Deal
Five Reasons To Oppose Casinos
1. Casino Revenues Are a False Promise.
Bloomberg News calls casinos “A Losing Bet.” Casinos across the northeast are struggling. Four have gone under in Atlantic City. Promised revenues are $90 million short in Ohio. and Pennsylvania aren’t there. Revenues are down $2 Billion in New Jersey and three quarters of a billion in Mississippi. They are down in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri.
Why would Massachusetts want to enter into a failing industry with revenue shortfalls across the nation? And not just enter in with one casino, but with three?
Chances are, casinos will be a drain state revenues—from the lottery to increased social ills. The promised municipal funds won’t be there because profits won’t be there.
One claim is that we are losing a billion dollars a year in revenue to Connecticut. In fact Connecticut may be taking in about $93 million of Massachusetts money to their budget — about the same as the expected decline in lottery revenues. After considering the social costs to the state, casinos are a money loser.
2. False Job Claims.
The Boston Business Journal wrote that casino jobs are “bogus because the diversion of billions of dollars in one sector is destined to cause job losses in other sectors.” [“It’s all about the money.” Boston Business Journal. December 21, 2007]
Rather than residents and tourists spending money on Massachusetts small businesses, creating a multiplier effect on jobs and the economy, that money gets sent off to big corporations based out of state. Rather than celebrating and supporting the industries that underpin Massachusetts history, natural beauty, and architecture, we’re going to encourage visitors to buy a stack of chips and sit indoors and learn and see nothing of our state? Rather than sending tourists to the Cape, North Shore, the Berkshires and the Freedom Trail, to celebrate the waterways and turning leaves and historic battles, we want to put at risk what makes our state great?
3. Casino Jobs Are Bad Jobs.
Casino jobs are rated by Forbes Magazine as among the lowest-paying full time jobs in America.
It’s also notable that with 8,000 newly-unemployed casino staff in New Jersey alone, there is a high likelihood that new casino will hire already-trained and experienced staff, rather than hiring Massachusetts residents.
4. Casinos Increase Addiction.
Gambling addiction doubles in areas within 50 miles of a casino. We should care about how many people among us will clear out their bank accounts because of this addiction, not only because of the impact it might have on them, but because of the costs to our society of taking care of their families, of increased needs for social and criminal systems to protect ourselves. In California, the state spent over $1 billion on social costs associated with casinos.
5. Casinos Increase Crime.
One study showed that casinos increased rates of rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and auto theft. The current casino deal earmarks no funding for the equipment, surveillance, personnel, judicial and corrections budgets.
In the late 90’s the Ledyard (Connecticut) tax collector, an upstanding middle-aged woman, embezzled $300,000 from the town’s coffers and lost it all at the slots before she was caught. Embezzlements happened in the Sprague town hall, the Stonington town hall, a local auto dealer, and a local lawyer’s office. With a casino nearby, it became too convenient for some people to go daily before or after work (sometimes both) to gamble away their (and sometimes other people’s) money.—Testimony of Elaine Bono,
Ledyard (CT) Planning Commission 1985 to 2001