The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald today are atwitter with excitement over surveys showing that support for casino gambling is on the rise. With the new Massachusetts House speaker, Robert DeLeo, in favor of expanded gambling, it looks like Gov. Deval Patrick is going to renew his ill-considered push to impose this blight on the state.
So leave it to Jon Keller of WBZ-TV (Channel 4) to dig a bit deeper into one of those surveys, put out by UMass Boston, which supposedly shows that casinos create better jobs for non-college-educated workers than other businesses.
Keller finds that the study was funded by construction-industry contractors and executives, who would stand to profit mightily from building casinos. The study also fails to mention the inconvenient fact that the huge “resort casinos” favored by Patrick are now cratering and shedding jobs. Keller writes:
Let’s face it, folks, casinos have been sleazy but lucrative money pits in the past and they may be again, but they are not anything close to a valid answer to the prayers of the working class.
The only kind of survey that matters is the one that asks people if they want a casino built in their community. Last I checked, two-thirds of Massachusetts residents are opposed. That’s not likely to change.
You’d never know it from reading the Globe, but even Middleborough residents voted overwhelmingly against a casino on the one occasion they were given a chance to express their views.
This is a loser, and Patrick’s obsession with staking his governorship on it is appalling.