View Full Version : Casinos in Mass.

02-22-2007, 01:14 PM
Do you favor casinos in Massachusetts?

02-22-2007, 02:45 PM
Do you? Why not start the conversation.

I could care less about gambling. If we have the lotto and race tracks we might as well. And if we could somehow use some of the money they bring in for education or something, all the better.

Along those lines, are there any Native American reservations in Mass?

02-22-2007, 02:47 PM
The Mashpee got tribal recognition which could potentially allow them to open a casino. There was an article in the Globe recently about it.

Ron Newman
02-22-2007, 03:11 PM
I don't favor them because I think they will create a compulsive gambling problem and will draw money away from our local entertainment and restaurant industries.

02-22-2007, 03:26 PM
Love gambling, hate casinos in MA. I can't think of one good reason to have them here. Tax revenue will rise, but does that make it right? There are plenty of alternative ways to increase revenue, right?

I've been to places such as Reno, Las Vegas, and Atlantic City; none make a convincing case for what gambling can do to improve a city.

02-22-2007, 09:50 PM
People think that they will be a tax on the poor, but that is a mischaracterization. Gambling is a tax on the stupid. I favor allowing as many such taxes as we can.

02-23-2007, 12:05 AM
I don't favor them because I think they will create a compulsive gambling problem and will draw money away from our local entertainment and restaurant industries.

I'd tend to agree. However, if placed on the waterfront it would be a different story. Though it would never happen, Boston would boom like it did after WWII

02-23-2007, 06:22 AM
Lets bring back the strip clubs and brothels while we're at it! Boston didn't boom after WWII. Boston was in a recession from 1920 to 1960.

02-23-2007, 09:32 AM
Population did increase to just over 800 thousand, did it not?

02-23-2007, 09:51 AM
There was a pretty good article on this in this week's Weekly Dig. It's really long so I'll just post a link.

A Big, Fat Gamble (http://www.weeklydig.com/news_opinions/articles/a_big_fat_gamble/)

02-23-2007, 10:57 AM
People think that they will be a tax on the poor, but that is a mischaracterization. Gambling is a tax on the stupid. I favor allowing as many such taxes as we can.

Is it wise to favor/endorse raising taxes on yourself, Dude?

03-06-2007, 08:15 PM
Love gambling, hate casinos in MA. I can't think of one good reason to have them here. Tax revenue will rise, but does that make it right? There are plenty of alternative ways to increase revenue, right?

I've been to places such as Reno, Las Vegas, and Atlantic City; none make a convincing case for what gambling can do to improve a city.

Those examples were cities formed with gambling as its main and only industry. Boston would not have the proposed casino. MA gambling would improve the state, not just boston.

As for having them, the thing is, MA residents already deal with alot of the problems associated with gambling. It is a short drive to CT, and thousands of MA residents make the trek every weekend. If we allow casinos in MA, at least we gain from some revenue. Not to mention, attract people from the upper regions of new england diverting them from CT. CT gets an estimated $427 million from casinos a year. That is almost half of the deficit this state faces.

03-06-2007, 08:39 PM
Cock-fights and legalizing crack would also close the budget gap.

Your point is?

03-06-2007, 09:10 PM
yeah your right casinos should be banned. So should alcohol and cigarettes, they cause social problems as well.

One extreme to the other.

My point was we already deal with the problems associated with gambling. Theres two of the worlds largest casinos in our backyard. Why should we not gain revenue from it?

Ron Newman
03-06-2007, 11:05 PM
I've been to places such as Reno, Las Vegas, and Atlantic City; none make a convincing case for what gambling can do to improve a city.

Those examples were cities formed with gambling as its main and only industry.

Atlantic City was not built for gambling. It was a tourist beach resort. Gambling has pretty much driven out the original tourist business and devastated the rest of the city.

Not an example I'd like to see repeated here.

03-07-2007, 10:42 AM
Las Vegas on the other hand is booming with plans for several new casino, several casinos over 600 feet under construction, plans for more transit and new airport is in the works. Albeit I personally would not live there, Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.

They have a projected job growth of 35%

Here is an article about how Las Vegas leads american cities in small buisness growth.

Anyways, I believe this is beside the point. No one is talking about making full gambling legal in MA, and certainly not opening casinos in Boston. An indian tribe wants to open a single casino somewhere between Quincy and Mashpee.

As for slots at the dog tracks, or slot parlors, it apparently is doing wonders for PA, who approved it last november.

12-15-2008, 06:55 AM
Economy deflates hopes for casinos
Support remains, but Patrick, top lawmakers back off

By Matt Viser
Globe Staff / December 15, 2008

The buzz whipped up just months ago by the prospect of casino gambling in Massachusetts has dissipated, silenced by a sharp decline in the national casino industry that has eroded the promise of thousands of new jobs and fresh riches for state coffers.
Governor Deval Patrick will not even discuss the casino idea now as a means of solving the state's deep budget woes, even though the concept was a cornerstone of his legislative agenda early this year.

Patrick abruptly ended a recent news conference when a reporter raised the topic, and his aides confirm the governor has not seriously considered reviving the proposal.

A core band of backers on Beacon Hill says it will push casinos again when the Legislature begins its new session in January, and it's still possible the idea could regain steam. But so far the group remains an isolated minority, and no legislative leaders are actively pushing for casinos.

It is a remarkable turnaround from a year ago, when the governor's bold plan to license three casinos around the state and generate tens of thousands of jobs dominated Beacon Hill for months. Specialists say the reason for the turnaround is basic: an economic crisis that has spread to the casino industry.

"Proponents for casino gambling can't propose half the things they did before," said the Rev. Richard McGowan, a professor of economics and Jesuit priest at Boston College who studies gambling.

"A year ago people would have thought this was an ideal place," he said. "But given where the economy is going, I doubt having three in Massachusetts makes a lot of sense right now."

The governor could no longer count on the $200 million to $300 million for 10-year state licenses that he had built into his proposal last year, specialists said. Nor could he expect to squeeze as much as 27 percent of the gambling revenue for the state's share.

On the business side of the ledger, there may not be enough of a market for the three casinos scattered about the state that the governor had envisioned. And with credit markets frozen, developers would have difficulty drumming up financing for the $1 billion resorts the governor wanted built.

The two casinos in Connecticut, among the most lucrative in the world, have also seen large drop-offs in revenue. Mohegan Sun reported this month that gross slot revenue fell 12 percent for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, while Foxwoods Resort Casino laid off about 700 casino workers in October.

Stock for Wynn Resorts is down 64 percent from last year, while MGM Mirage is down 88 percent.

Sheldon Adelson, chief executive of Las Vegas Sands and the world's third richest man this time last year, saw his net worth decline $4 billion in September alone, according to Forbes magazine. The Dorchester native, who wanted to build a casino in the Marlborough area, recently announced layoffs of 11,000 workers in Macau, where his company has been building a strip that rivals Las Vegas.

"Casinos, like every other industry in America, have fallen on tough times," said Dennis Murphy, a lobbyist at Ventry Associates who represented casino and real-estate mogul Donald Trump during the casino debate and recently gave an update to Trump officials. "Those that theorize you can get hundreds of millions of dollars and all these concessions from casinos, well there's not going to be as much meat on the bones to give up next year than there was this year."

Even so, casino supporters in the Legislature are girding for a debate that focuses on the state's desperate need for new revenue, and the construction jobs that would come almost immediately.

"When you get into times like this, people usually are more willing to coalesce in areas that would create political controversy," said Senator Steven Panagiotakos, a Lowell Democrat and chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. "People are certainly going to be much more open to issues they might not have been a year or two ago."

Supporters promised a new bill will emerge next month in the House, where Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi led the defeat of Patrick's plan in March after denouncing the possibility of a "casino culture" growing in Massachusetts.

"It's coming back, whether the governor files it or House members file it," said Representative Brian Wallace, a South Boston Democrat and a chief casino proponent. "One will be filed, certainly."

DiMasi, while suggesting that local aid could decline by as much as 10 percent next year, raised eyebrows last week when he told reporters, "I'm not saying no at all" to casinos. His spokesman later said the speaker hadn't changed his position but was open to a debate on the issue.

Patrick declined to comment on his plan for casinos in a recent interview. Aides have suggested that the governor would not include casino revenue in his budget proposal next month, as he did a year ago as a means of putting pressure on the Legislature to approve it. His spokesman, Kyle Sullivan, said it was "premature to discuss" whether the governor would include it in his proposal.

Economics aside, much could hinge on the future of DiMasi, who has been weakened by several ethics investigations since his victory over casinos in March.

"The speaker has been pretty weakened, and how much he can stem the tide against casino gambling remains to be seen," said McGowan, the Boston College professor.

The two lawmakers jockeying to replace DiMasi if he leaves - House Majority Leader John Rogers and House Ways and Means chairman Robert DeLeo - are much more supportive of casinos. If DiMasi continues as speaker - as he has indicated he will - the governor might be reluctant to revive the bruising debate, especially if it would damage other proposals he wants to push, including reforms in the state's transportation network and education system.

Further complicating the debate will be yet another push for slot machines at the state's four racetracks. Such a move would help the two dog tracks that are now slated to be shuttered in January 2010, after residents voted overwhelmingly last month to ban greyhound racing.

Those two tracks - Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park and Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere - employ about 1,000 workers and give millions of dollars in gambling revenue to the state. Advocates for slots renewed their pitch last week, sending out estimates of how much cities and towns would get in local aid if the machines were legalized - from $2.6 million in Salem to $39.9 million in Boston.

The owners of Suffolk Downs, which was the front-runner to build a casino in the Boston area, remain interested in a license and strengthened their position several months ago by forming a partnership with Wonderland.

Another complication is the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, which is seeking a casino under its federal rights. The tribe is completing an environmental impact report, and expects to have a ruling from the federal government by the spring, spokesman Scott Ferson said.

Matt Viser can be reached at maviser@globe.com.

Link (http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2008/12/15/economy_deflates_hopes_for_casinos/)

12-15-2008, 01:25 PM
^Funny, I just finished reading a much Rosier article in the New Bedford paper:

Casino backers see opportunity in stalled economy

Standard-Times staff writer
December 15, 2008 6:00 AM

BOSTON ? Massachusetts state legislators are busy drafting casino gambling proposals for a new session in January, believing state budget cuts will lead, finally, to a gambling rush on Beacon Hill.

Legislators also are seizing on the passage of a ballot question that will close the state's two dog tracks in 2010, saying slot machines are the only way to save more than 1,000 jobs in the industry.

Gov. Deval Patrick threw his political capital behind legislation to legalize casino gambling this year, but the bill was defeated handily in the House in March.

Gov. Patrick won't say whether he will push casinos again.

"We have been distracted with some more pressing matters, and this has not been a top priority for discussion purposes," said Gov. Patrick's spokesman, Kyle Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan said it would be "premature" to say whether Gov. Patrick's budget proposal will include casino revenues when it is released next month.

Full Story: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081215/NEWS/812150314/1011/TOWN10

Two completely different takes. I'd go with the more sound reasoning in the Globe story though. Sorry, New Bedford (or Mass. for that matter), you're not getting a casino. It wouldn't be the solution to decades of trouble either.

12-15-2008, 09:53 PM

12-15-2008, 10:10 PM
Population did increase to just over 800 thousand, did it not?

From Encarta (http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761557136/boston.html):
"Boston?s population peaked in 1935 with 817,713 people. In 1950, from a population of 801,444, the city began a slow decline in the number of inhabitants that was to last for three decades. During the 1980s and 1990s the population of Boston slowly increased again."

Consider what the US population did over the same time and its even more dramatic. Of cities, Boston didn't fare quite so bad, but you are the first person I've ever heard refer to it as a "boom" time. Unless you meant like the sound of a balloon bursting, then I'd go along with you

12-16-2008, 01:55 PM

Don't worry, Wonderland will die with the economic times. Horseracing however, I think Suffolk Downs should stay, and be incorporated in some kind of development that isn't a strip mall or an oil field. It could be the first urban horseracing track in the US.

05-10-2009, 11:08 AM
So we went down to Mohegan Sun, last night, for the Killers concert. Getting there is pretty easy, west on the Pike, south on 395. Once you get on-site, there is outside and garage parking. So far so good. We waited for a shuttle to get to the casino. Came quickly. The ride through the parking lot took a good 20 minutes, they overloaded the bus, and they were playing old "Molly and McGee" radio shows on the speakers, for some reason.

The parking lot is small; for about fifteen minutes we circled around and we could see our car parked on the opposite side of the lot the entire time. Turns out the entrance to the casino was pretty close to where we parked - reminded me a lot of the Simpsons episode where Homer ends up parking in the farthest corner of the power plant's parking lot and it turns out it's right next to his home ("Hi, Homer," says Bart.)

We made it to the casino.

One thing I can say in its defense, the casino was absolutely packed with people. There are plenty of slot machines and gaming tables. The design seems absolutely the worst, you can never tell where anything is and it's lit too poorly, even for a casino. It's hard to find anything even though there are maps and signage everywhere you look.

They have a lot of casino floors as well as a very extensive selection of restaurants and a food court. Prices were not outrageous, but higher than normal.

The arena is nicely laid out. Very easy to get from the casino into the arena and our seats were right across from the entrance. Big enough arena to make it feel "big" but not as large as the Garden or similar. Filled out in time for show to begin. Great 1 1/2 hour show. Beers were $6.50 for a Coors Light. Eh.

Afterward I ate pizza. The crowd seemed to include a lot of teenagers. I suspected that local kids come into the casino to hang out on weekend nights. Some of the casino space is taken up by restaurants and clothing stores.

We hated the casino. Part of it was its design. Part of it was the people. Too many parents had brought their young children. The 20- and 30-somethings seemed to be having a good time at the bars, which seems okay. There was a hair-band knock-off singing when we left. Cheap Trick's version of "Ain't It A Shame".

The experience certainly didn't make me any more of a fan of casinos. I love gambling and have been to Las Vegas multiple times and have been on cruises many times and lost thousands and thousands of dollars. I just don't see enough benefits to bringing casinos to Massachusetts. We don't have every type of industry in Massachusetts, we don't have to have every type of industry in Massachusetts.

Casino gambling will not be the panacea to what is ailing Massachusetts. Yeah, I see $800 million in potential annual tax revenues and it seems appealing, but beyond that, there seems no pressing reason to open the floodgates to gaming in the state.

If voters do end up wanting it, and we bring it in, I would say I'd want three or four things. *) No Indian casinos, the casinos should be under the control of the state; *) Start with one casino in/near Boston, I don't understand the concept of putting another one in a run-down city such as New Bedford; *) it has to be a no-smoking facility, everywhere (it was gross at Mohegan Sun); *) off-limits to 18 and under, throughout facility, or, if it must be open to allow families to visit and shop, it should be very clear which parts are for adults and which are for children - none of those paths that make their way between banks of slots and gaming tables. Alternatively, the entire casino should be off limits to under 18 after 11 PM weeknights and 12 AM weekends.

05-10-2009, 07:11 PM
Hey John, I was at that show too! I was sitting stage right, toward the front on the lower bank of seats. We stayed in the hotel last night also.

There was a wedding party there when we arrived. I didn't know there were people who would want to be married in a casino...

05-11-2009, 10:39 PM
Still like the casino idea, but your restrictions are totally reasonable, and lenient compared to what I would have expected.

05-12-2009, 08:53 AM
Turns out there's a bill before the CT state house to ban the smoking but there is resistance because of the bad economic times and the fear that gamblers would travel elsewhere to gamble and smoke if it was banned.