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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Rolling the dice, again

So, is Deval Patrick's casino gambling proposal a bad idea period. Or just an attempt to prevent an even worse fate?

I've been relatively quiet on the subject, slowly leaning to the anti-casino side as it has become clear that the revenue projections aren't likely to be as rosy as Patrick thinks.

But today's Globe story comes back to my original concern: if the train is leaving the station, to we want to be the conductor collected the fare? Or do we want to get broadsided with the problems and none of the revenues?

In a perfect world, Massachusetts does not need "destination" casinos. It does not need the additional pain and suffering of lives shattered by gambling. But it really doesn't need to face those problems without resources to handle them.

And the charade that passed for "process" in Middleboro stands to be repeated without a state role. I'd be curious to hear the response of casino foes on this score. Is there something missing from the Globe story that would make these fears unrealistic?

I'd also like to hear more from the Speaker other than a desire to put the issue off in the hope it will die. This should be the top priority when sessions resume in January 2008.

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Anonymous Dan Bosley said...

ML, I disagree that these are inevitable. Yes, the Wampanoags can do anything we legally do now. However, they still have to get land placed in trust and that is not automatic. They then can only have the so-called "bingo slots". These are not only slower, but you play against the pool of players, not the house, so they are less profitable. That calls to question as to whether the financial backers will stick around. And there is the question of whether the National Indian Gaming Commission will change the bingo slots to better reflect the differences between slot machines and bingo games. I don't think this is a slam dunk. It is only inevitable if we all throw up our hands and say so at this point.
The other flaw with the inevitability excuse is that if one claims that this is the reason for casino legislation, then why is the administration going far beyond what we would have in the state if this were indeed inevitable? In other words, this is bad, but it is going to happen, therefore we must become even worse in order to get some funding from it. If the argument is that Native casinos are inevitable, then why wouldn't the administration negotiate with the two federally recognized tribes in order to minimize the inevitable casinos to those that we have to have?
I think this is more of an excuse than reality. If someday we need to negotiate with the native tribes, we still have the option of doing so, but we are nowhere near that point now.

November 18, 2007 5:26 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Thanks -- I wish I had seen this argument in the Globe story along side the treasurer's inevitability declaration.

Now if you can prevail upon your boss to take this up early next year... :-)

November 18, 2007 5:40 PM  
Blogger CFO Directors said...

I believe that what we are seeing here is the beginnings of an organized disinformation campaign designed to scare us into "cutting a deal or else". The same sort of tactic was used very effectively in Middleboro - convincing the residents that the casino was coming no matther what.

November 19, 2007 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scare tactics yes, in the form of polls that ask you things like, would you support a resort-style casino if it helped you live forever? Or,all the casino investor sponsored "facts" that we read about daily in the papers. The most important task opponents have is too remain focused and let our elected officials know what we want and how we want it done. This is the power of the ballot.

November 19, 2007 2:14 PM  

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