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

Casino supporters support casinos

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce study on casino gambling (PDF) generally supports the numbers put forth by Gov. Deval Patrick in his three-casino proposal, according to the Herald and the Globe. Patrick’s numbers are largely based on studies by UMass Dartmouth economist Clyde Barrow. And, yes, the Chamber of Commerce study relies in part on Barrow’s research.

I have not read the Chamber study, and probably won’t. My opposition to casino gambling is not based on whether it will or won’t bring more revenue to the state. Still, you can see from following the Barrow connection that the Chamber study can be easily dismissed by casino foes.

Believe it or not, the Chamber study also incorporates some numbers provided by Harrah’s, a casino operator that would like to do business here. Some independent study.

Last September, the Weekly Dig detailed the eerie parallels between Barrow’s work and Patrick’s proposal. In the current CommonWealth magazine, Phil Primack has more on the Barrow-Patrick connection.

In the Cape Cod Times, Stephanie Vosk reports that state Rep. Dan Bosley, D-North Adams, a leading casino opponent, is circulating a position paper disputing another claim made in the Chamber study — that the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe may move ahead with its plans to build the world’s largest casino in Middleborough with or without state approval.

In fact, as casino opponents have pointed out repeatedly, the tribe may not operate a gambling casino if casino gambling is illegal in Massachusetts. Yes, it could open the world’s largest bingo hall. But with federal regulators preparing to crack down on video bingo, that’s really not much of a threat.

As the Phoenix’s David Bernstein writes of the Chamber report, “on balance it should boost the pro-casino side, while not dampening the enthusiasm of the antis.”

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Milk money


  1. Mike from Norwell

    Dan, not sure if you have access to it or not, but Steve Bailey from the Globe was talking about the report on his regular spot w/ Tom Finneran this morning. He had read the report in detail last night and was a little dubious of how it was portrayed in the papers (including his own).Might be worth a listen (or a call to Bailey).

  2. KC

    I can relate to people who are “For” or “Against” Online gambling. What we have to remember is that there is an age limit enforced for gamblers. This tells us that we now know our own minds so therefore it should be up to the individual them self whether to participate in an online gambling experience of their choice.

  3. Anonymous

    The folks that stand to make alot of money from these casino’s will support them, of course. In order to ” sell” them to ordinary working people, casino supporters use the words “millions”, “billions’, “tax relief”, etc. The truth is revenue streams most always get diverted when nobody’s looking, so we will not see dollar one from this proposal, it’s a fool’s bet. As for the tribe and it’s investor’s, they’re using the same scare tactics they used to fool Middleboro, sign up or else. The Governor has accepted this deliciuos kool-aid, and is now sort of an ally, he doesn’t care if the tribe builds a casino or not, he wants three and feels he has some competitive edge. He must realise that legalizing slot machines will open pandoras’s box. Casino revenue – Impacts = Less revenue.

  4. Anonymous

    I think it is very interesting, that EVERYONE can agree gamblings has social risks. Smoking,Drinking, and even getting a cup of hot coffee has risks. Do we label the odds on the slots, or tell the customer gambling can be addictive? Where is the AG on this? MA casinos we be able to control this Tribal casino will not. Has anyone looked at the design of a slot machine? It is all computerized. Do the people gambling really think they can beat a computer design to beat them? Slots manufacture losers, not jobs. NO CASINO it is that simple.

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