I just sent the following e-mail to my state representative, Ted Speliotis, D-Danvers:
Dear Ted —
I’m writing today to urge you to vote “no” on Speaker DeLeo’s bill to expand legalized gambling in Massachusetts. The negative effects of casinos and slot machines would be far greater than could be justified by any increased revenue the state would receive — revenue that, in all likelihood, would not be nearly as great as proponents predict.
Not only would casinos in Massachusetts be a bad idea in and of themselves, but they would almost certainly lead to expanded gambling in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
I first became aware of the hazards of casino gambling when a few wealthy investors used the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe to put forth a plan in Middleborough, the town where I grew up, to build what at one time was described as the world’s largest casino. As you probably know, that effort was fraught with corruption. Glenn Marshall, the tribal leader, ended up going to prison.
Studies have shown that casinos lead to increased crime and a higher divorce rate, and have even been linked to an increase in suicides. I urge you to get the facts from United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts, which is online at www.uss-mass.org.