Whereas the Democratic Party has a long and proud tradition of advocating for social justice, working for policies that promote the public health, and fighting to protect citizens from exploitive and predatory business practices;
And whereas modern slot machines use neuroscience-informed technology to mesmerize and entrap gamblers and to keep them playing until they have exhausted their resources (“playing to extinction”);
And whereas medical research has documented the highly addictive nature of the brain’s chemical reactions to slot machine stimulation;
And whereas licensing and promoting such addictive, predatory gambling technology for the purpose of raising State revenues goes against the aforementioned values and principles for which the Democratic Party has long stood, and is at odds with the ideals that underlie our Party’s honorable and consistent struggle to end the deceptive and predatory lending, marketing, and pricing practices that have pushed so many families to the brink;
And whereas legalizing slot machines would erode participation in the Lottery and siphon away from local small businesses the discretionary spending on goods and services that they depend on;
And whereas the development of slot machine parlors would neither create significant new jobs, nor increase tourism in Massachusetts;
And whereas evidence from other states indicates that the long-term costs of gambling addiction — increased substance abuse, increased crime, increased family discord and dysfunction — outweigh the short term benefits of licenses and gambling revenues;
Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Massachusetts Democratic Party, as a matter of both principle and policy, opposes the legalization of slot machines and any similar efforts to promote addictive and predatory gambling as a means of raising public revenues.
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