By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

What’s wrong with casinos

Retired John Hancock CEO David D’Alessandro offers compelling personal testimony in today’s Globe on the malignant effects of gambling — and, by extension, on why state officials should do what they can to make sure no casino is built anywhere in Massachusetts.

I love this: “I have faith in Deval Patrick. While untested, he strikes me as a man of courage.” Translation: If the governor moves ahead with casino gambling, he’ll do so knowing that he’s made a powerful enemy.

In this week’s Boston Phoenix, David Bernstein analyzes the politics of casino gambling.

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Double standard


The last “D&C” update


  1. Steve

    It’s David D’Alessandro.No “A” for you!But I won’t tell your students if you won’t. 🙂

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Oh, my God. Now fixed. You know what I did? I copied and pasted his name so I wouldn’t misspell it, but obviously failed to copy the whole thing.

  3. Anonymous

    Correction: D’Alessandro offers compelling personal testimony on the malignant effects of his father’s DEGENERATE gambling. My take on his father’s problem is that gambling addicts are going to get their fix whether there is casino gambling readily available or not.But if the nannies believe that gambling is THAT much of a problem, perhaps they should move to immediately disband the Massachusetts Lottery — the payouts from the Lottery are MUCH more stingy than those that casino gambling provides. Insofar as gambling is a social problem, it strikes me that a lottery that takes a much larger chunk of every dollar wagered is a much more serious problem than a casino.

  4. Steve

    I almost ran afoul of Bell’s first law of Usenet: “Flames of spelling and/or grammar will have spelling and/or grammatical errors.”I had spelled it with 2 “L”s until I caught it in the preview.(I gotta get myself yellow-ized. But the Simpsonizer won’t accept any of my photos. Color me crushed.)

  5. Rick in Duxbury

    Good point, 6:33.You can tell Dave came to the insurance industry late (from adbiz). Anyone with knowledge of The Law of Large Numbers would not pontificate on this issue from his perch, of all places. (Some of the past marketing practices of life insurers were, shall we say,sketchy? SBLI was a reaction to previous problematic behavior.) In my 50+ years I have probably spent a total of 2 hours in casinos. It struck me as stupid. But then I don’t watch soap operas and I don’t think they should be outlawed either. At some point, the freedoms we all want carry responsibilities. Eventually, it’s time to grow up.

  6. mike_b1

    The peanut gallery is treading on territory well-covered by behavioral psychologists. Addictive personalities are real and generally nondiscriminatory: in other words, those who tend to be compulsive gamblers are also prone to other excessive behaviors like smoking, drinking, etc. And, especially in Mass., the trend is toward limiting those other behaviors (for example, no smoking in indoor public places; the vote against the referendum to permit grocery stores to sell liquor), with no lasting outcry from the so-called libertarians. So why give gambling — for which there are already many outlets — a pass?But what’s really interesting here is the failure to segregate those who are predisposed and those who get hooked through constant exposure (and perhaps, huge losses).Telling an addict — a real disease — to “grow up” seems trite — and nonproductive.Fact is, many of these “freedoms,” as rick puts it, are limited. To wit: 18 or older, no history of problems, your ability to pay for it,, etc. This isn’t oxygen we’re talking about, or speech for that matter.

  7. Rick in Duxbury

    “especially in Mass., the trend is toward limiting those other behaviors (for example, no smoking in indoor public places; the vote against the referendum to permit grocery stores to sell liquor), with no lasting outcry from the so-called libertarians.” That’s pretty much the point, Mike. The “trend” is freedom for me but not for thee. If you can’t hear the “lasting outcry”, maybe you aren’t listening hard enough?

  8. mike_b1

    The trend is freedom for the majority, Rick.

  9. Rick in Duxbury

    Here we go again. One presumes you don’t include in “the majority” those who disagree with Margaret Marshall or those who voted for an income tax reduction. This being MA, the very concept of a majority is “an evolving paradigm”.

  10. mike_b1

    I would include as “in the majority” the masses who continue to elect legislators who represent our viewpoints. And that would include officials who — in some circumstances — then appoint others who adjudicate those viewpoints.Rick, it’s simple. If the majority doesn’t like the rules, the majority just has to vote in other people willing to make different rules. Or did you not hear about the last Congressional elections?

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