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

Just wondering

What is it that House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray like best about gambling casinos?

Is it the social dysfunction they help foster, including crime, suicide and bankruptcies? Or the fact that the promised revenues are an illusion, as the industry is in freefall thanks largely to oversaturation? (See recent reports by the New York Times and the Boston Globe.)

Casino opponents gave up a long time ago on Murray and Gov. Deval Patrick. It’s sad to see DeLeo joining them. Oh, where have you gone, Sal DiMasi?

Discover more from Media Nation

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.


Corporate socialism


Baker, Cahill and Mihos, too


  1. Dan,

    Overlooked in the conversations is the creation of a very large state bureaucracy required for oversight, investigation, enforcement, regulation, prosecution, incarceration and the potential for far greater corruption than has ever been seen in the Commonwealth, if that’s at all possible.

    The state of New Jersey has 1500 state employees dedicated to casinos.

    It would seem the “job creation” beyond the low wage jobs gambling provides will be at the state level.

    Each of the sites publicly discussed requires major infrastructure upgrades.

    Palmer doesn’t have water. The estimated cost is $50 million.

    A tunnel has been suggested for Wonderland. The cost tossed around is $400 million.

    Raynham can’t currently handle the traffic flow.

    Plainridge, destined to become a full blown casino, has no parking.

    What other business would we invite into the Commonwealth that has costs like this involved?

  2. tobe

    Dan, the answer to your question, “What is it that House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray like best about casino gambling?” is they like doing whatever they want.

  3. Newshound

    Sadly, these state leaders apparently know little, or nothing about simple economics and wealth creation.

    How we measure wealth has slightly, we hope, differences among those who understand, and major differences among those who don’t. But, essentially, good schools, colleges and universities that remain affordable to all, one honest way or another, good hospitals and medical care, and factories and farms that contribute to productivity to support a quality of lifestyle is one way to begin to calculate wealth.

    Being wealthy enough after meeting basic needs to support sports, major league teams, parks, museums are all a plus.

    But how in the world could even idiots believe that a means towards overall wealth creation is with the diversion of millions of dollars towards the construction of a casino when our economy is so stressed for other more important needs.

    And, has anyone ever heard of anyone going to a professional financial planner who even hinted at going to a casino as part of a plan to build wealth, prepare for a college fund for children or save for retirement.

    We saw what has happened essentially in this decade with the Wall Streeters taking inappropriate risk and how most of us have contributed to paying for their mistakes, oversight sand greediness.

    These two leaders best gamble a little of their overpaid, under earned and under deserved pay and visit a financial planner before doing anything else in their lives.

    Their concept would be as smart as a family trying to gain wealth to send a child to college by borrowing money, putting an addition on the house and the wife and husband frantically playing poker.

  4. O-FISH-L

    A few nice, full-fledged casinos in existing hotels in say Boston, Worcester and Springfield would be perfect. Maybe even a “Spirit of Boston” or “Odyssey” type full-fledged casino boat out of Boston Harbor that doesn’t have to go three miles out to make it legal. Allow those of us who can gamble responsibly a local place to do so.

    FWIW, friends and I made our quarterly trip to Foxwoods last month and were SHOCKED at how few people were there. We’ve been going since it opened and this was scary. Free rooms and free food for our entire group to lure us, but whole sections of the casino roped off. Like a ghost town there. That’s why I’m now leaning against the “destination casino” model and in favor of putting them in existing hotels instead.

  5. Dan, it was Sept 10th at 8:46 you explained to me why it was ok for you to gamle the way you want, but not ok for me.. your reasoning was ” “Society has decided” through our elected representatives, who have approved some forms of gambling but not others.”. So now those same elected representatives think that expanded gambling is worthy of this fine state. And your attack is against them? Sound like you like the laws when the laws are how you like them? As far as your yearning for the crook DiMasi, which shows me the extent of your angst against casino gambling, irrespective of it’s legality, he’s likely
    preparing for his time in jail for breaking the trust of the people… which you must consider less a threat than leagalized gambling.?

  6. Dan Kennedy

    Newshound: Ironically, we met with a financial planner at our house this morning. We talked for two hours, and never once did he suggest a trip to Foxwoods.

  7. If Beacon Hill proposed a tax on Seniors who can’t find anything constructive to do with their lives, the low income, the poor, the uneducated, the gullible, the irresponsible, the easily addicted and dare I say it? the stupid? who would support that legislation?

    Slots are designed to addict.

    Would we even be debating a toy that injured 5% of children who played with it?

    Newshound got it right.

    Those of us who don’t gamble and see the Folly of the Fool’s Gold of Gambling need to speak out before we end up subsidizing this farce.

    Sorry O-FISH-L, you need to do a might more thinking about this issue. The empty Foxwoods is merely a precursor of things to come.

    Foxwoods never made their money from you. Their business model is based on 10% or 20% of their customers who constitute 80% of their profits. Slots create gambling addicts who ‘play to extinction’ – they liquidate savings and retirement funds, max credit cards, mortgage the house and then borrow or steal to feed the slots.

    And the state promotes this?

  8. Did your adviser tell you that the $104 a year you spend to play Megabucks each game has odds of 1 in 14,000,000? Or did you just figure “heck, I can afford it, it’s innocent fun that’s not going to change my quality of life”? oh ya, I forgot, since it’s not “casino gambling” it’s not the same. Gambling is here, a gambler is going to gamble, gamblers do gamble, some go to CT, some to Vegas, some to RI, some to the corner store, some while playing Keno at dinner, some play the football line, some play cards with friends, some go to bingo at church. Casinos are buildings. You yourself have a gambling problem.. Unless you REALLY didn’t have something better to do with $104.00 a year?

  9. Newshound

    O-FISH-L – apparently you are among the fortunate in that you have extra money to just gamble away. Not everyone is so fortunate.

    Maybe an allocation of a bag of toys delivered to Children’s Hospital would make a more fulfilling contribution to society, just for starters.

    You’re not really serious about slot machines in the City’s hotels, are you?

    Why not in the lobby at the State House. State police are already there to guard, and they can just wheel the money away in a hand cart a few times a day.

  10. Al

    A casino is an entertaining destination that encourages staying and gambling, in favor of the casino operator. Away from the casino scene, you can buy lottery tickets at numerous locales and spend your food and rent money on them, but convenience stores don’t have buffets, entertainment, cute waitresses and comps designed to keep you there spending more, casinos do.

    Looking at an empty Foxwoods, we may be seeing a precursor of things to come, or it just may be an outcome of the recession and its unemployment. When the economy picks up, the gamblers will return. OTOH, add a casino in RI, put a few in MA, there’s Turning Stone in central NY, and you might see a picture where there are just too many casinos and a finite amount of dollars to spend in them. Are they in a race to the bottom?

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén