It seems like no matter how poorly casinos are doing throughout the country, no matter how many times they rewrite the rules and laws in their favor, no matter what kind of damage they wreak, how many thousands of small business they gut, millions of people they legally steal from in every community they enter, we only hear about how great and wonderful they’d be here in Massachusetts.
I’m sorry, but it doesn’t pass the sniff test, though a careful PR movement and lots and lots of dough spent on ads and lobbyists, the House — and I do not mean the legislature — has convinced too many people that it’s just a matter of harmless entertainment. Well, that’s started to change — people are finally noticing that both Connecticut casinos, as well as Rhode Island, are near bankruptcy, and Foxwoods has already defaulted. The idea that we could even build these things here, in this market, has been called into question. None of the promises will ever materialize — and people are starting to get a clue.
It’s important that we have these kinds of events to spread the truth. The legislative leadership is going to dump this issue on our many good state legislators who have voted against this issue time and time again, just before they write their new budget, claiming it’ll be the only thing that saves us. They’re going to do exactly the same thing they criticized Patrick for contemplating just a year ago, but make it sound even more desperate. We have to be ready for them, we have to make sure we aren’t giving into something that will make us nothing in the medium run, almost certainly losing us money in the long run (costing California nearly a billion dollars annually). We have to make sure that if we ever decide to enforce such a major and likely irreversible change to our state, it’s based on cold, hard policy analsys — not worthless promises, cheerleading ‘reports’ by paid industry hacks and the typical lies and deceptions this industry has used to sell themselves to dozens of states across the country.
Come whether you’re with me in full or skeptical. Come if you know almost nothing about this issue, but want to become informed. Heck, come if you just want an opportunity to meet the Duke and hear why he’s opposed to casinos. This issue is so important — we can’t allow the slot industry in without the facts. We can’t allow it to be thrown on us based on deception. And we certainly shouldn’t get into it when the industry’s in a downward spiral, with all the problems incurred, but none of the promises kept. Since allowing slots and casinos is a downward spiral, it’s time to come and learn about this issue now, so you can have your full say before this issue is voted on. Otherwise, should the bill pass, you may come to regret it, asking yourself why you didn’t get involved when you could.
Note: I’m writing this of my own accord, but if anyone has any questions, this is probably a great thread for that. This is also a good opportunity to scope out opportunities to carpool or otherwise travel together — it’s always fun for BMGers to meet up. Finally, if anyone wants to make an event out of it and go get a slice or beer after, I’m open to it… especially if it’ll get you there. Just let me know in the comments.