Speaker DeLeo announced today his plan for gaming in the Commonwealth — essentially two resort casinos and slots at the race tracks with the revenues spread to multiple goals and constituencies. The speaker’s messaging on the bill is primarily focused on the employment benefits.
My views on the casino issues have not changed since my vote in the last session against resort casinos. I am deeply concerned about unemployment in Massachusetts, but I don’t believe that it is a short term problem — we face a long term economic squeeze caused by automation and Asian competition. Casinos will give us a short run economic bump, but will destroy many other good businesses in downtown areas and leave us with a long run legacy of crime, corruption, addiction and environmental damage. I believe that casinos are a huge distraction from the challenge of building a prosperous, sustainable future. For a fuller explanation of my views, see this link.
I am firmly committed to voting against this proposal, but I welcome differing perspectives on this site and especially appreciate thoughts about how to vote on amendments that may be offered to the bill.