“Support for casino gambling has taken a huge dive in just a short time”

So says the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld, writing about a Suffolk University/Herald poll that was just released, and that shows a startling reversal of public opinion on casino gambling.  Previously, as far as I know, every time the issue has been polled, public support for casino gambling in Massachusetts has been in positive territory.  Not this time.

In a serious blow to expanded gambling in Massachusetts, a new Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll shows support for Las Vegas-style casinos has dramatically slipped in just the past few months.

The Suffolk/Herald poll conducted last week shows Bay State voters oppose casinos by a 47-37 percent margin, a near reversal of sentiment. In February, a Suffolk/Herald poll had voters approving of casinos by a 51-37 margin….

When asked “whether it makes sense” to open a casino in Revere or Everett, a resounding 55 percent of voters chose “neither.” Just 18 percent picked Revere as the best location, while just 5 percent chose Everett.

David Paleologos, the director of Suffolk University Political Research Center, said the results show support for casino gambling has taken a huge dive in just a short time.

In other words, the “approve of casinos” numbers declined by 14 points, and the “disapprove” numbers increased by 10 points, over the course of a few months.  That is a remarkable turnaround.  Hard to say what’s behind it, and Suffolk does not appear to have posted the whole poll on its website yet.  Still, it suggests that, if the SJC allows the “repeal the casino deal” question on the ballot, there will be a big fight over it.

In other news from this poll (I assume it’s the same one), the race for Governor looks for the most part similar to other recent polls: Martha Coakley is way ahead of her Democratic rivals (she leads Steve Grossman 44-12 with the other three in single digits), and she beats Charlie Baker by 7 points.  Her margin is down from Suffolk’s February poll (at that time she was up on Grossman 56-11, and up on Baker by 13); apparently, most of the defecting voters have moved to the undecided column, rather than to other candidates.

Finally, in a related story, the five Democratic candidates for Governor will square off in a debate tomorrow at 11 a.m.  The debate is hosted at Suffolk, and moderated by Suffolk’s John Nucci and the Herald’s Rachelle Cohen.  There will be a livestream on bostonherald.com, or you can listen on the Herald’s internet radio station (http://bostonherald.com/herald_radio).


16 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. That is a surprising jump

    … although the trend away from support for casinos has been evident for quite some time now. As the idea gets closer to reality, people in the Bay State seem to be becoming more aware of the drawbacks. There have been a lot of news reports about troubles in other states, including nearby ones. New York, for example, has seen a decline in its lottery revenues as it expands its casino lineup.

    I wonder if this turnabout in public opinion will prompt any of our candidates for public office to modify their position on casinos. One who won’t have to, of course, is Don Berwick.

    I am the only 2014 Democratic Gubernatorial candidate to oppose continuing to allow casinos to enter our Commonwealth … I believe the costs are simply too high for this to be the best step for our state.

  2. Not surprising

    Casinos and their supporters can’t seem to avoid shooting themselves in the foot. You have Crosby basically epitomizing the concept of regulatory capture. There has been a stubborn refusal to put measures into place to ameliorate the negative effects of gambling. We have already seen attempts to wiggle out of commitments on the part of the industry to maintain other services on site. As I recall the legislative process to open MA to casinos stunk to high heaven. This could have been handled better in so many ways. I realize many of you probably see me as a casino supporter, but I mostly just don’t join the sky-is-falling opposition to gambling per se. As I recall due to some of the issues I’ve mentioned I would have ended up voting against the bills on final passage and if the question to repeal casinos does end up on the ballot I am at this time leaning toward voting yes.

    • Reasonable and Rational


      Many of those opposed to the casino law evolved to the conclusion from studying national and international research that refute the claims of the industry and proponents. If there was a net positive we would be in favor. It’s not about gambling. It’s about multi-national corporations granted monopoly and special tax status by state government at the expense of people, communities and regional economies. If water balloons and Pez were net negative economic monopolies that also shift wealth from the lower class to the uber-wealthy while destroying lives and small businesses we’d oppose them too.


  3. Suffolk polling is unreliable nonsense and nothing more

    First, this is the same Suffolk University pollster David Paleologos that was so delusional and sure that Romney would easily defeat Obama and had Brown crushing Elizabeth Warren when anyone with an ounce of political sense new otherwise regardless of where they stood politically. The vast majority of polling that comes out of Suffolk is always wrong.

    Secondly david, the legality of the ballot question is highly questionable on many fronts. I’ve followed this and realize you’re involved with the case. I think you completely overestimate the chances of this going on the ballot. Many who have had a look at the legality of the ballot question are focusing on Coakley’s argument of implied contractual rights which is strong in it’s own right. There are several others, not the least of which, as you know, is the validity of including a ban on the simulcast of greyhound races from elsewhere in the country included on the ballot question. The relation of those two issues is highly suspect and legal precedent from a 2006 SJC decision states as much. There has been zero press about that issue to date.

    As you know, a ballot question must be crafted so that it offers a unified statement of public policy for the people to cast an up and down vote. Mixing a ban on simulcast greyhound racing and casino gaming is high questionable to meet that hurdle. Grey2k is involved with Repeal The Casino Deal and have been gathering gathering signatures for the ballot petition on the greyhound simulcasting wording. Repeal The Casino Deal and the anti-casino groups and their hired signature gatherers have been collecting signatures without even mentioning the proposed ban on simulcasting of dog races. These points alone could very well invalidate the ballot question.

    The case that Repeal The Casino Deal has presented to the high court is not strong at all contrary to what you and the others involved in the case imagine. As I said, the chances of this going on the ballot are very slim.

    • Well, obviously I'll respectfully disagree.

      The “relatedness” argument that you mention was rejected by the Attorney General. It was again raised by some of the interveners before the Supreme Judicial Court, and of course we (along with the AG’s office) opposed the argument. As to there being “zero press” about relatedness, perhaps that is because none of the SJC Justices seemed especially interested in it. I invite you, or anyone else who’s interested, to read our briefs to learn more about relatedness (or any other subject in the case). We are, of course, well aware of the 2006 SJC case you mention.

      As for Suffolk’s polling, if you look at the track record, what you’ll see is that they have consistently done excellent polling in Massachusetts, while their record outside the state is much worse, including (as you correctly note) some of their presidential polling in 2012. However, I believe your recollection is wrong about Brown/Warren – Suffolk was right on about that race.

      • I'm not a lawer David obviously.

        However, I think you might be in for a surprise on the forthcoming ruling. That is opinion only of course. I have read many of the briefs and I believe your chances are not that good. I have been wrong before on this issue but more often than not the predictions have been spot on. We shall see. I find your allowing the post to stand liberating. I fully realize this site and the anti-casino advocates here are nearly 100 % in lockstep against the casino law. I’ve read here often but refrained from posting as not to invade your territory.

        There have been many instances when I have wanted to refute the anti-casino talking points here but figured it would be met with the exact reaction below from heartlanddem. There has been an incredible amount of misinformation and vicious attacks on casino proponents and anyone who would dare be for the casino law, so it works both ways.

    • nopartyaffiliation are you the troll

      by the same handle that has plagued (weren’t you banned on) a host of major media online comment sections for vicious ad hominem attacks? Just noticed that you have posted this singular myopic comment on BMG. If in fact you are that person, I would suggest that you go away. We do not want to play with the type of nonsense and mean-spirited remarks that are your trade.

      • This person may or may not be proven correct.

        However, I don’t see anything inherently wrong or certainly ad hominem about the comment.

      • I've never been banned anywhere heartlanddem.

        I’ve commented on this issue for several years at many venues while debunking the talking points of the anti-casino movement. Yes it has become quite nasty on several occasions from both sides. It works both ways on that. Certainly the anti-casino movement has not colored themselves in civility and glory over the years despite their passion on the issue.

        You yourself have made outrageous comments here regarding this issue that have no factual basis in reality and do not match the facts on the ground. If you would like to debate this, I am more than open and up for that debate. It is not one you will win without attacking the messenger as a troll as you have just done.

        I believe Progressives and the Left are quite wrong on this issue for several reasons. Do anti-casino activists consider the hundreds of people who will be put out of work at Plainridge Racecourse with a hypothetical repeal ? Do anti-casino activists consider the plight of the thousands of blue-collar workers in the trades and hospitality sector that will benefit in ways of employment with this law ? Do anti-casino activists consider the destruction of the horse farms, open space, and the thousands that will be put out of work in the long standing horse racing industry in Massachusetts ?

        Some see this as an attack on the poor and low wage workers. Far from it. I am well to the Left of anyone that posts on this website and that stance is dead wrong for several reasons in my opinion. There is strong potential at these venues for organization and unionization of casino, hospitality, and service workers in the future as is going on now in many states.

        Further, Massachusetts is exporting hundreds of millions of dollars a year in entertainment dollars to venues in Rhode Island and CT. as you well know. Gambling is already taking place and will continue to do so. These venues exist in large numbers in 40 states. Yes, you can cherry pick examples of bad situations in a few communities that host such facilities. However, the overwhelming majority tell a vastly different story that the hysteria that predicts destruction and debasement.

        Also, while it might be nice to say the economy is improving and we don’t need these kind of jobs while espousing high-tech jobs for all – the reality on the ground is much bleaker for blue-collar workers. We are talking about several thousand jobs in the trades and hospitality sector. These are not all low paying menial jobs as the anti-casino movement would have people believe.

        I could go on forever, but those are a few of the general points. If you would like to discuss the issue in a somewhat civil manner I would be happy to do so. If you would like to discuss the issue in a hostile manner – which is often where it leads when the anti-casino talking points are questioned – I can do that also. If you would like to not discuss the issue at all, that is also fine. I believe this is not a cause that the Left should be taking up. Much more important issues on the table. Casinos are irrelevant in the current situation.

        • Wow

          Casinos are irrelevant in the current situation.

          Then I guess we don’t need them at all.

          I very seriously doubt that you are “well to the Left of anyone that posts on this website.” BTW, that sort of claim is a hallmark of someone who likes to stir the mud in fora slanted differently from their beliefs. So is the “more important issues” argument.

          Yes, you can cherry pick examples of bad situations in a few communities that host such facilities. However, the overwhelming majority tell a vastly different story that the hysteria that predicts destruction and debasement


          Too Many Casinos: Looks Like We’ve Reached Gambling Saturation – Time

          Local Casinos Are a Losing Bet Casinos close as revenue falls in gambling saturated US – Businessweek

          Maybe it’s not opponents who are cherry-picking examples in a few communities.

          • You know not of which you speak kirth with your comments about the Left.

            However, that’s a debate for another day. It’s not worth my time or energy to debate Leftist politics here. There are other more diverse venues for that. This is a single issue of no relevance whatsoever in regards to that. Casinos are neither a savior or the destruction of any community. It’s simply another business within a capitalist framework. These crusades for bans against individual entities within a framework of Capitalism don’t amount to a hill of beans. It’s nothing but the rankest of hypocrisy and that’s my opinion. Irrelevant causes – such as this one – always do more harm than good and up end up hurting the blue collar working people rather than helping considering the current system. Nothing will change that opinion. Have a good day.

            • You sure do get worked up

              over something you claim is irrelevant. Odd that you don’t post about something you think is important.

              • I think you've missed my point kirth.

                I said fighting for a ban on casinos as an entertainment venue and added business are irrelevant in a capitalist system. I did not say it wasn’t worth fighting FOR in the current situation. Number one, it’s not right to say the workers, the horsemen, and those who work in the racing industry at Plainridge are expendable to the anti-casino cause. I’ve heard it said many times, from anti-casino activists, that they couldn’t care less. Let those “losers” find another kind of work is the mantra. Further, the unions are not on your side on this. Progressives fighting against the trades and construction unions is laughable. Progressives fighting against thousands of jobs and employment for blue-collar workers is laughable. There is no high-tech – life sciences jobs for all fantasy coming about anytime soon. There is ZERO solidarity coming from the white collar professional crowd on this issue.

                So the law gets repealed and all the activists go back to business as usual and their other pet causes. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions a dollars a year will continue to go to out of state casino entertainment venues as Massachusetts residents who gamble and enjoy the casino experience will continue to do so. No cognitive dissonance there eh ? Meanwhile, unemployment in the communities that voted to site these facilities continues to be at large levels, nothing improves, and it’s business as usual for the activists and their other pet causes, while thousands of potential jobs are now lost. Meanwhile, Plainridge closes, harness racing is gone from the state forever, the horse farms and everything that goes with them including the jobs are gone and we get another Walmart or another strip mall. Now there’s a big difference. That’s Progressive right ? Then of course the citizens of the communities who voted yes for the added revenues and jobs are to be cast aside as so much irrelevance to the Repeal crowd. That’s some “democracy” you got going there. And on and on…

                Of course we can say that individual corporations like a casino company are no friends of the Left but do tell where all the other corporations that the activists so readily accept – as needed – fit into that narrative. Well where does Google’s profits come from. Do they fall suddenly fall from the sky ? It’s the old …we will except no evil corporations in our midst.. unless of course we work for or run one. You can’t have it both ways kirth. You can try to but it solves nothing.

                As far as posting about what is important. There are plenty of venues for that. BMG is mostly geared towards two party politics – and getting “your side” elected – that have failed miserably for the vast majority of the working class. No importance whatsoever from where I stand in changing anything.

                • No, you didn't

                  You said “Casinos are irrelevant in the current situation.” If you’re going to keep trying to revise your own comment history, then the hell with it; I’m not going to play any more. Have fun in your irrelevant universe.

        • nopartyaffiliation are you the troll?

          And, have you not simply changed handles? Aka, Orwell’s Ghost…what were you before nopartyaffiliation on Masslive – shucks, I can’t remember – the rants are so boring.

          You are obviously fascinated with yourself but please know that you are not fooling anyone. Your writing has a very distinct, controlled (so tighly wrapped) and arrogant obsessive-compulsive structure. Does the handle hueylong ring a bell?

          Samples from one of your many alter egos:

          The Boston Globe


          As the late great Paul Harvey would say. Now you have the rest of the story. John Ribeiro and Kathleen Norbut, Repeal The Casino Deal and their various anti-casino groups throughout this state operate on propaganda, lies, deceit, and hysteria to try and advance their regressive agenda. With a complicit media at their side they have managed to make their lies stick with a minority of the uniformed, the gullible, and any Nimby and religious hypocrite looking for an excuse to stop casinos from coming to this state. The rational and the real facts will carry the day in the end and expanded gaming will become a reality in Massachusetts for jobs, revenues, and the recapturing of hundreds of millions of entertainment dollars ALREADY being spent in out of state casino and racino facilities. There is an open challenge to Riberio, Norbut, or any other of their ilk to come to any media venue or blog and prove their hysterics and statements. They will not do that because they are unable to win that battle without hiding behind lies and propaganda that litter their various websites unchallenged. For every example or piece of trash research they show of detrimental effects of casinos, there are dozens that show the exact opposite on nearly every point they make. Anytime, anyplace, and any media outlet Riberio wants to make a case with factual debate on these issues, bring it on, because there are thousands of pages of research, studies, and facts on the ground that prove without a shred of doubt that Riberio and the anti-casino movement are outright liars and propagandists of the highest order out to spread fear and hysteria to the citizens of Massachusetts on this issue.

          He wrote this about himself in the Globe:

          OrwellsGhost is a highly motivated machine dedicated to the matter at hand. That matter at the present time is to debunk and expose the lies and blatant capitalist hypocrisy of the anti-casino movement and its insidious hypocritical tentacles that reach far and wide. OrwellsGhost is also a political enigma with a keen sense and awareness of the most minute details of the hypocrisy surrounding the current political and economic climate in this country. The ghost is also under no illusions that casinos are the answer to those problems in the long run but understands the realities on the ground at the present time and the blatant hypocrisy that surrounds those realities.

          The stench you smell is that of Repeal The Casino Deal and the billionaire and multi-millionaire selective capitalist hypocrites backing the movement.Start with billionaire oil heiress Swanee Hunt and frequent donor to the anti-casino movement and Repeal The Casino Deal. Then we have multimillionaire David D’allasandro, former chairman, president, and CEO of John Hancock financial services and a staunch advocate and backer of Repeal The Casino Deal. Move on to multimillionaire Alan Lewis, the CEO of Grand Circle Travel and large donor and backer of Repeal The Casino Deal. From there we have Linda Sallop, President and CEO of Atlantic Charter Insurance and donor and backer of Repeal The Casino Deal. Richard Jude Thompson, high powered and moneyed religious fanatic and zealot from Wyoming. Jerry Belair, Merideth Management Corporation. Stephanie Crimmins, Executive Vice President Panera Bread…..and on and on. Those are but a few that are available for “public reference” of course. One can only imagine what influence and other secretly “benevolent concerned grassroots” millionaires lurk behind the Repeal The Casino Deal scam.

          I do not expect an honest answer from you – your pathology prohibits that possibility. But, it is fun to see your narcissism here where you are clearly not the smartest guy in the room. I don’t dislike you – never have – I just pity you.

          Note to my BMG colleagues: There is a long history here with this entity in other media venues. I will spare us all further engagement on my part and let it play.

          • You don't expect an answer heartlanddem ?

            Why would that be. Do you think that I would not own those posts ? You made the statement that I was banned from other media venues. I have never been banned. Gatehouse media banned all anonymous commenting some time ago. If people want to post on those sites they now have to link through social media and use their real name. Pretty much destroyed the commentary at all those local sites. Never heard of hueylong though. That one is not me. You are correct on my Globe handle and Valley Advocate. I use both along with nopartyaffiliation at Boston.com which I don’t post at anymore since the recent design switch. Posted on Boston.com for ages. Don’t like it at all now. Much easier to post at the Globe main site now. Same at Masslive. Haven’t posted there much lately. I also use another handle on other sites at times. I have never hidden that from anyone. It is all my writing on this issue. I think I actually signed up here several years ago but never posted. I didn’t sign up to make one post recently. I’ve read here but never posted.

            In any case, while you might not like the tone of my postings, feel free to dispute anything I wrote. What makes you think casino opponents have a monopoly on posting on this issue. The anti-casino movement posts at every major media venue that I do and they all use several anonymous handles. Does Middleboro Remembers and her several handles and websites ring a bell ? Who cares . She can post whatever she wants wherever she wants. It’s her right and she certainly makes no bones about where she stands with her various methods of activism. The problem with the anti-casino movement is they don’t like to have their thoughts and opinions on the issue challenged. Their whole plan revolves around flooding social media and the various media outlets with anti-casino hysteria. It has always been their plan. So your trying to call me out for supporting a different view is laughable hypocrisy to put it bluntly.

            As for being the smartest in the room, I’ll certainly leave that for others. I have a hard enough time spell checking and putting posts together in a semi-coherent manner. In any event, if you would like to dispute anything I’ve written. Feel free to do so. As you can see at Valley Advocate there is a ton of information and research that more than supports the case for keeping the casino law intact and implemented.

            If you want to make definitive statements on this issue rather than mere opinion and your personal beliefs you have to bring facts to the table. Emotion and hysterics is good for soliciting potential votes but it doesn’t make it fact. Anyone who imagines that the anti-casino movement is all grassroots David vs Goliath is not dealing in reality. Much of it is protecting self-interests and personal beliefs at all costs.

            And lastly heartlanddem, that you even attempt to minimize those who disagree with you by casting aspersions of mean-spirited remarks is pretty amusing. I would advise anyone with an interest in this issue to go to any social media page or media venue and read the comments and slander against anyone who would dare disagree – with the anti-casino mantra – that these venues are the coming apocalypse.

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