My first choice is no casinos anywhere in Massachusetts. My second choice is no casino in Middleborough. It’s my hometown, the process has been an utter disgrace, federal and state investigations are under way, and I don’t want to see the rural character of the town destroyed.
So even though I believe the proposed Middleborough casino is good and dead anyway, I’m pleased to see that both the Cape Cod Times and the New Bedford Standard-Times (sister papers) report that Gov. Deval Patrick’s plan for three state-approved casinos could further harm the Middleborough bid.
Stephanie Vosk reports in the Cape Cod Times that the troubled Mashpee Wampanoag tribe could find its Middleborough property wedged between casinos in New Bedford and Boston, which would make its own plans dubious at best. In the Standard-Times, Curt Brown and Steve Decosta write that New Bedford officials are ready to rock with a waterfront site, and that there are indications Patrick wants one of the three casinos in that city.
The Boston Herald and the Boston Globe round up Beacon Hill reaction. In an editorial, the Globe opines: “Massachusetts lawmakers who have opposed casino gambling in the past, including House Speaker Sal DiMasi, must come to terms with Patrick’s proposal or provide revenue ideas of their own.”
Well, actually, no they don’t. Doing the right thing does not require you to deal with the cost of sticking to your principles. The state’s revenue needs are a different subject that can be dealt with at another time.
But I’m certainly pleased that state officials, at least, seem to be leaning toward New Bedford rather than Middleborough. If the Mashpee tribe pushes for federal approval to operate a casino outside of state regulations, it’s likely to find itself competing with venues that are already up and running. That’s good news for my hometown.