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

Cape businesses oppose casinos

The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce has come out against casino gambling. Sarah Shemkus reports in the Cape Cod Times that chamber officials are worried that a casino in Middleborough would leave Cape businesses scrambling for employees. Here’s a juicy tidbit:

“The 20,000 new jobs, as advocated by the governor is, in fact, not 20,000 new jobs but the replacement of 20,000 jobs that are currently located in other areas that would lose jobs,” said William Zammer, vice-chairman of the chamber’s board and the owner of Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth and two other restaurants on the Cape.

Does Gov. Deval Patrick really want to sacrifice the Cape’s vacation economy in favor of gambling?

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  1. bostonph

    I came across this in the Miami Herald (while waiting for a plane in Dallas – don’t ask): of gambling, South Florida was transfixed in 1998 with the issue of casino boats, the infamous cruises to nowhere that operated out of Florida ports despite questionable legality. State Attorney General Bob Butterworth and Broward County’s new sheriff, Ken Jenne, raided a SunCruz casino boat in Hollywood, seized its slot machines and put an end, everyone thought, to the untaxed, unregulated gambling cruise industry. That made everyone’s top 10 list in Florida. Especially after casino boat magnate Gus Boulis humbled the attorney general and sheriff in court a few months later and retrieved his slots. ”But now what are they going to do next to me?” asked Boulis (who was knocked off in a mob hit three years later).Turned out, the casino boat industry, such a big deal in 1998, would wither into insignificance on its own. What didn’t make the top 10 list, that same year, was a $225 million-a-year offer from the Seminole Indians if the state agreed to allow the tribe to install Vegas-style slots and table games at its casinos.Despite the gambling boat flub, Sheriff Ken Jenne was anointed king of South Florida politics in 1998. Or governor, if he wanted.But news, it turns out, can look downright flimsy when stacked up against actual history. Ten years later, Gus Boulis is dead, Ken Jenne is in prison. The Seminoles finally signed a deal with the state, but the guarantee has shrunk to $100 million a year.Funny how history repeats itself.

  2. Peter Porcupine

    My favorite story about the Cape Cod Commission is that they declared a gambling boat a ‘Development of Regionsal Impact’ becuse it had square footage of over 10,000 sf., and it was foolish enough to tie up in Hyannis Harbor….I believe they tried to extort traffic mitigation money….

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