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HartfordTycoon

Casino Gambling in Massachusetts

Casino Gambling in Mass   9 members have voted

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With the Mass legislature poised to take up the issue of Casino Gaming in the near future I thought I would ask your opinions on the matter. Here is an article from the Springfield Republican on the subject and prospects of a development being proposed in Palmer, near Springfield and Holyoke that would include a Casino.

PALMER - Springfield hotel developer Paul C. Picknelly, who is considering building an upscale hotel across from the Palmer turnpike exit, said a casino on the site would not only make the project more appealing, but be a boon for Western Massachusetts in terms of revenue and job growth.

The possibility of gaming in Massachusetts has resurfaced with Gov. Deval L. Patrick stating earlier this month that he is considering slot machines and casinos to raise money in the face of an estimated $1 billion shortfall in state revenues next fiscal year. Under a bill filed in the Senate, Hampden County would be one of two counties licensed for a casino.

Western Mass Casino Article

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Palmer? Why do they always build these things out in the middle of nowhere? I'm sure there's research behind it but it just seems to me the closer to a major metro area the better. For someone in Boston, Palmer is not that much closer than Foxwoods or Mohegan.

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Palmer? Why do they always build these things out in the middle of nowhere? I'm sure there's research behind it but it just seems to me the closer to a major metro area the better. For someone in Boston, Palmer is not that much closer than Foxwoods or Mohegan.

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I don't think that casinos are the economic generators that their supporters claim them to be, but as with in Rhode Island, I'd prefer to see them in the urban centers where there is the infrastructure in place to support them. If we were to have one in RI I would want it in Providence (or perhaps Newport) and in Western Mass. it should be in Springfield. At least if it were in Springfield it would have the chance to generate other businesses in the city such as hotels and other entertainment attractions (boost attendance at the Basketball Hall of Fame for example). If one to were to be located in Bristol County (and I don't think one should be) it should be in New Bedford or Fall River. Building a casino in the middle of nowhere (i.e. Palmer) with parking lots around it does nothing but encourage more sprawl.

I think that's the point. I noticed that Bristol County was also named in the legislation to be considered for allowing Casino gaming. They will more than likely stay on these finge areas of MA near CT and RI or other bordering states.

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Being from Western Massachusetts, my opinion is that a casino in the Commonwealth, and especially in Western Mass, is just a plain out bad idea. It has been floating from community to community now for two decades.. My father was on the board of Selectmen in West Springfield when developers first proposed a casino on the northern part of town, by Holyoke. Having always considered my father a wise man, he and the other two Selectmen shunned the idea, and so the proposed casino moved to Holyoke, and then Springfield, where it was voted down. The late Peter Picknelly Sr., who was a very close family friend, was trying to get the casino development off the ground for years. He would come to my house for holiday dinners (he liked my family more than his own apparently), and it always made for heated debate between he and I. I respected him greatly, because he had the best interest of the city in mind, but I feel he was a little misguided.

Outside of Las Vegas, I would love someone to point to an example of where a casino, plopped in the middle of a depressed, urban city, has vastly improved said city and its environs. Maybe I have been living under a rock for 27 years, but I can think of none. Atlantic City is a dump, casino gambling along the Mississippi has not helped any of the urban areas along the river (St. Louis is the most dangerous city in the country.. still..), and do not use the example of Las Vegas, because that was a city BUILT on gambling, and not the other way around - radical difference.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are successful for two major reasons:

1.) both are huge, and filled a demand for gambling that, prior to their opening, could only be filled by taking a drive to Atlantic City

2.) both are in the middle of nowhere, where they should be (asides from not being there at all). Being in the middle of a VERY rural area of Connecticut, they can do minimal harm to Hartford, employ a substantial number of the unemployed residences of the towns they are located in, and boost the budgets of these small, local towns, making casinos appear like huge beneficial heroes to the region. How deceptive a casino can appear by location.

A casino located in a city will have absolutely no benefit. Who goes to Foxwoods to go hiking or explore the vicinity? No one. Nor will anyone go to Springfield, or Providence, or New Bedford, spend their cash, and then walk outside and explore the surrounding city. Casinos are DESTINATION entities.. People go to the casino to go to the casino. They do NOT go to the casino as part of an expanded itinerary to go on a whale watch or to go exploring glorious downtown Springfield, nor will they. Bus loads of tourists will not flock to fill the restaurants of Providence. What a naive idea.. and completely against the principles of a casino, whose only interest is to get people to walk in, keep them there as long as possible, and walk out broke.

Further, the isolation of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun makes it substantially difficult for urban poor to go to those locations, and blow what little money they have at a casino. Putting a casino in the middle of the most depressed city in Massachusetts may, yes, provide nice steady incomes for 5,000 or so individuals, but will in return suck the cash out of the rest of the urban poor. Springfield has an estimated population of 150,000 residences, with a 23% poverty rate. That is 34,500 people in Springfield ALONE. Holyoke is also a depressed city a quick-shot down 391. Build a casino that can hire that many people and pay them decently, and you may sway my opinion, but the fact of the matter is, it is not going to happen.

These proposals are foolish, ill-guided, and have absolutely no credibility or evidence to substantiate their claims of urban renewal. People from Oregon, England, or New Mexico are not going to come to RI, MA, or NH to go gambling. If they are going to come here, it will be for other predetermined reasons, not because there is a casino.

Gambling will not increase the number of tourists from outside the New England area. What does this matter? Because for every non-New England tourist dollar that DOES come in and gets spent in a casino, there will be a net loss to other businesses in the area, because there will be no additional moneys coming in from outside New England to replace that lost revenue.

The novelty will wear off once casinos are built in RI and MA. Sure, people will still visit, but the more casinos built in a region, the more competitive they will become for business, and casinos fighting for business can get dirty. Eventually, it will boil down to each New England state competing for the same pool of gamblers, and in the long-term it will hurt, not benefit, the New England region.

As with all casinos, the only people who will be banking from these proposals will be the casino owners.

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Being from Western Massachusetts, my opinion is that a casino in the Commonwealth, and especially in Western Mass, is just a plain out bad idea. It has been floating from community to community now for two decades.. My father was on the board of Selectmen in West Springfield when developers first proposed a casino on the northern part of town, by Holyoke. Having always considered my father a wise man, he and the other two Selectmen shunned the idea, and so the proposed casino moved to Holyoke, and then Springfield, where it was voted down. The late Peter Picknelly Sr., who was a very close family friend, was trying to get the casino development off the ground for years. He would come to my house for holiday dinners (he liked my family more than his own apparently), and it always made for heated debate between he and I. I respected him greatly, because he had the best interest of the city in mind, but I feel he was a little misguided.

Outside of Las Vegas, I would love someone to point to an example of where a casino, plopped in the middle of a depressed, urban city, has vastly improved said city and its environs. Maybe I have been living under a rock for 27 years, but I can think of none. Atlantic City is a dump, casino gambling along the Mississippi has not helped any of the urban areas along the river (St. Louis is the most dangerous city in the country.. still..), and do not use the example of Las Vegas, because that was a city BUILT on gambling, and not the other way around - radical difference.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are successful for two major reasons:

1.) both are huge, and filled a demand for gambling that, prior to their opening, could only be filled by taking a drive to Atlantic City

2.) both are in the middle of nowhere, where they should be (asides from not being there at all). Being in the middle of a VERY rural area of Connecticut, they can do minimal harm to Hartford, employ a substantial number of the unemployed residences of the towns they are located in, and boost the budgets of these small, local towns, making casinos appear like huge beneficial heroes to the region. How deceptive a casino can appear by location. A casino located in a city will have absolutely no benefit. Who goes to Foxwoods to go hiking or explore the vicinity? No one. Nor will anyone go to Springfield, or Providence, or New Bedford, spend their cash, and then walk outside and explore the surrounding city. Casinos are DESTINATION entities.. People go to the casino to go to the casino. They do NOT go to the casino as part of an expanded itinerary to go on a whale watch or to go exploring glorious downtown Springfield, nor will they. Bus loads of tourists will not flock to fill the restaurants of Providence. What a naive idea.. and completely against the principles of a casino, whose only interest is to get people to walk in, keep them there as long as possible, and walk out broke.

Further, the isolation of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun makes it substantially difficult for urban poor to go to those locations, and blow what little money they have at a casino. Putting a casino in the middle of the most depressed city in Massachusetts may, yes, provide nice steady incomes for 5,000 or so individuals, but will in return suck the cash out of the rest of the urban poor. Springfield has an estimated population of 150,000 residences, with a 23% poverty rate. That is 34,500 people in Springfield ALONE. Holyoke is also a depressed city a quick-shot down 391. Build a casino that can hire that many people and pay them decently, and you may sway my opinion, but the fact of the matter is, it is not going to happen.

These proposals are foolish, ill-guided, and have absolutely no credibility or evidence to substantiate their claims of urban renewal. People from Oregon, England, or New Mexico are not going to come to RI, MA, or NH to go gambling. If they are going to come here, it will be for other predetermined reasons, not because there is a casino.

Gambling will not increase the number of tourists from outside the New England area. What does this matter? Because for every non-New England tourist dollar that DOES come in and gets spent in a casino, there will be a net loss to other businesses in the area, because there will be no additional moneys coming in from outside New England to replace that lost revenue.

The novelty will wear off once casinos are built in RI and MA. Sure, people will still visit, but the more casinos built in a region, the more competitive they will become for business, and casinos fighting for business can get dirty. Eventually, it will boil down to each New England state competing for the same pool of gamblers, and in the long-term it will hurt, not benefit, the New England region.

As with all casinos, the only people who will be banking from these proposals will be the casino owners.

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Outside of Las Vegas, I would love someone to point to an example of where a casino, plopped in the middle of a depressed, urban city, has vastly improved said city and its environs. Maybe I have been living under a rock for 27 years, but I can think of none. Atlantic City is a dump, casino gambling along the Mississippi has not helped any of the urban areas along the river (St. Louis is the most dangerous city in the country.. still..), and do not use the example of Las Vegas, because that was a city BUILT on gambling, and not the other way around - radical difference.

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St. Louis is not the most dangerous city in the country. Look at the Wikipedia write-up on Morgan Quitno -- especially the notes section. Morgan Quitno's methodology penalizes cities with tight city limits that encircle just the urban core of a metropolitan region, like St. Louis. And it rewards cities whose city limits reach far out into their affluent suburbs, like Houston. This creates a statistical fluke that makes any kind of "cities" ranking nonsense. By contrast, Morgan Quitno's own Metropolitan Areas crime ranking makes more sense. In that list, St. Louis ranks 129th -- a very safe city. Houston, by contrast, jumps up to number 22 -- along with Las Vegas -- which more in line with what you would expect if you know anything about those cities vs. the stable Midwest. I don't know where Boston metro area ranks in crime.

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Amusing, since the Morgan Quitno website is exactly where I attained the information.

From the Morgan Quitno website:

Lawrence, KS-After years of waiting, Brick, New Jersey at last has claimed the title as America

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I know you got this from Morgan Quitno. That's why I said you should read the notes on Wikipedia on Morgan Quitno to learn about their flawed methodology in the "cities" list. Morgan Quitno is one guy -- Scott Morgan -- who sells list books from an abandoned storefront in Lawrence, KS. He is not a statistician, acedemia, or criminologist. He just tries to take FBI data and create bogus rankings and sell them online. And he puts out press releases to a gullible press to alarm people. This year he intentionally manipulated things to release a list with St. Louis and Detroit at the top the day after St. Louis played Detroit in the World Series. And he admits it was a stunt to sell more lists.

Go to a credible source for crime data. The FBI says ranking "cities" is not valid, since some cities (like Houston) represent 90% of a metro area and include affluent suburbs to dilute the stats, and others (like St. Louis) represent only 12% of the area -- the 12% that happens to encircle the core highest crime area of the metro area. Take any metro area and encircle its highest crime core and call it a city, and it would jump to the top of the list. But does it represent a real danger, or just an artificial line?

A metro area ranking is more legitimate since it does not carve out high crime areas of a metro and rank it against suburbs. It is metro to metro.

Next time cite a legitimate source of statistics. Do your research first before you state a statistic. Morgan Quitno is a publicity hack.

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The AG is against casinos in the Commonwealth.

AG warns against expanded gambling. Police costs could cut revenue gains. [The Boston Globe]

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St. Louis is not the most dangerous city in the country. Look at the Wikipedia write-up on Morgan Quitno -- especially the notes section. Morgan Quitno's methodology penalizes cities with tight city limits that encircle just the urban core of a metropolitan region, like St. Louis. And it rewards cities whose city limits reach far out into their affluent suburbs, like Houston. This creates a statistical fluke that makes any kind of "cities" ranking nonsense. By contrast, Morgan Quitno's own Metropolitan Areas crime ranking makes more sense. In that list, St. Louis ranks 129th -- a very safe city. Houston, by contrast, jumps up to number 22 -- along with Las Vegas -- which more in line with what you would expect if you know anything about those cities vs. the stable Midwest. I don't know where Boston metro area ranks in crime.

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The only reason the casinos in CT are so successful are it's location to New York. It's slightly closer and a lot nicer area than Atlantic City. Plus the two are slightly off the route from NY to Boston. However, they will be hurting when a casino opens in Monticello, New York (75 miles NNW of NYC) in about five years.

Massachusetts opening a casino will not garner significant enough traffic from outside the region it's located. People will more likely go to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun than a casino in Palmer or Fall River, especially if a Palmer or Fall River casino is too small compared to the two in CT.

If they did put a small poker hall in Worcester, I'm all for that though.

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