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.
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.”