In the first three postings of this series ( http://tiny.cc/BMG-Reason1, http://tiny.cc/BMG-Reason2), and http://tiny.cc/BMG-Reasons3and4), I focused on
why expanded gambling is more appropriately described as economic cannibalism, and not as economic development;
how a gas tax costing an average Mass. household $8-10/month — the amount you’d lose in just a few minutes at a slot machine — would create just about as many construction and ripple effect jobs as casinos … and without the delays and costly “side effects”;
the dubious ethics of a state partnership with the gambling industry to promote the use of a product — predatory slot machines — that is designed to addict and exploit addicted customers; and
the empty promise of “treatment” that proponents use to justify legalization and promotion of a product with a known 6-18% “casualty” rate.
In this final posting, I make the case that legalizing expanded gambling is more of a crap shoot with Massachusetts’ future than a proven strategy, especially when you take a serious, objective, and comprehensive look at the substantial costs associated with its introduction … something that the Legislature has been unwilling to do. The full Five Reasons document is posted at http://tiny.cc/FiveReasons-NoO… Other helpful reading is available at the excellent USS-Mass website at www.uss-mass.org.
Reason #5 – Hyped with unrealistic revenue projections and fraught with under-stated or ignored secondary costs, the introduction of casinos/slot machines is a risky gamble with Massachusetts’ future, not a solution to the State’s Budget or employment problems.
Despite the promises of the industry and the fervent hopes of legislators, Class 3 gambling has failed to solve the budgetary problems of other states into which it has been invited:
Casinos and slot machine gambling haven’t helped California ($19.1 billion – 22.6% deficit) or Connecticut ($5.1 billion – 29.2% deficit) or Delaware ($377 million – 11.7% deficit) or Illinois ($13.5 billion – 36.1% deficit) or Nevada ($1.8 billion – 56.6% deficit) or Pennsylvania ($4.1 billion – 16.3% deficit) or Rhode Island ($395 million – 13.2% deficit) avoid historic deficits. [www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=711]