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Opponents challenge Menino on casino

With Tom Menino reviving his push for "resort casinos" in Massachusetts, two of his opponents for mayor are saying not so fast.

Although Menino did not specify sites for these casinos this time around, in the past, he's pushed for one at Suffolk Downs. John Romano, spokesman for City Councilor Michael Flaherty, said it would be "irresponsible" to even suggest a casino in East Boston without first getting the approval of East Boston residents, who would bear the brunt of new traffic and congestion from a casino.

Kevin McCrea said a casino is just the wrong idea for Boston - but added he'd want to see a referendum and would abide by whatever the vote is.

"There are places like Ecuador and Moldova and Cambodia that have casinos, and none seem to be the economic model that we want to emulate," he said, adding that Las Vegas now leads the nation in foreclosures. "Boston's a great city now without a casino."

While he acknowledged the state now loses revenue to casinos and slot parlors in Connecticut and Rhode Island, he said Boston needs to balance that against the 10,000 to 15,000 gambling addicts he says a new casino would generate - and on the fact that gambling preys far more on the poor.

Sam Yoon could not be reached for comment this afternoon.

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"There are places like Ecuador and Moldova and Cambodia that have casinos, and none seem to be the economic model that we want to emulate," he said, adding that Las Vegas now leads the nation in foreclosures. "Boston's a great city now without a casino."

We are not a third world country like Ecuador, Moldova and Cambodia so I do not see the connection.

Yes Las Vegas has high foreclosures, and thats because the entire state was built on casinos and lavish business trips. It was also riding the biggest bubble in the country as well with more homes being built there then anywhere. In addition these homes had no access to public transit and many were much larger then they needed to be making resale difficult, and renting hard (as opposed to more dense two family housing that could be rented for cheaper.) Boston currently has semi diverse economy and this system would make that economy more diverse. Were currently heavily dependent on the sciences and education and have been losing our footing on that other form of gambling, financial services. We dont have much industry, and construction is pulling back dramaticly. At the same time we are losing jobs and money to Indian Casinos in CT because our residents take trips down there to spend their money. They gain the benefits of these travelers with new restaurants and entertainment and the JOBS but we get stuck with the population who has spent the money and any of the gamblers they create, currently there is no system in place where Mohegan Sun is responsible for helping Massachusetts gambling addicts, and yet it creates them. At least if the casinos are here we could extract money from the system to pay for the programs we need to support those people and create jobs for people, and create development in areas that need it most.

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Casinos turned that once-popular beach resort into a depressing slum. Should Revere emulate it?

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Is that really accurate? I thought they built the casinos in a failed attempt deal with Atlantic City's depressing slum?

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The casinos were New Jersey's alleged attempt to do something about the slum Atlantic City had become.

It's still a slum. Only now it has a row of casinos running through it.

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Revere would have to start off as a popular beach resort.

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If I recall my history of Atlantic City it was in massive decline well before casinos were built and then experienced a mixed boom after the fact. So you have your choice continued decline, or continued decreased decline adjacent to sensational upticks in monetary revenue, housing, and jobs... If it were not for the casinos Atlantic City would be boarded up and shut down.

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I'd only be for it if there was some sensible revenue sharing for every town that would be effected by a casino in it's neighboring town.

Pretty much the towns that provide access from the major through ways and immediately surrounding it; as they're the ones who are going to get hosed with the uptick in babysitting the idiots passing through to and from.

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I dont know the specifics but the names on the list of supporters include every immediate neighbor of East Boston I can think of. Those mayors seem to be content with whatever has been thrown around I would assume.

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Oh, yes, because this might totally destroy the quaint charm and high reputation of freakin' Reveah.

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I was thinking more in terms of taxing the municipal services.

Cops have better thing to deal with then the exponentially increased traffic and traffic violations that will result from it, especially in places like Reveah.

It's going to cost more pay the more police, EMT's, Firemen, municipal clean up crews, road work, ect.

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Does McCrea blame tribal casinos for the high foreclosure rates in California? I'm hoping that he was just being overly glib but sadly that simpleton arguing goes over well with some people.

That said, McCrea could well be right as a matter of policy. In theory casinos could be used to employ unskilled workers at decent wages but in practice it will probably mainly attract hordes of more unskilled workers to our state, putting additional strain on taxpayers already struggling to finance education and social services.

If tribal casinos in CT are a burden on the Commonwealth voters should elect a slate of congressional delegates who will work to put an end to such establishments.

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I'm not really seeing, er, well, any sort of connection between your opinions and the consequences you'd say would occur.

Why would more unskilled labor show up in the state? These will create jobs, sure, but not THAT many jobs. It's not like this would fuel some massive construction boom. Sure, there are always people who show up, but if they can't get a job, they'll go somewhere else. Besides, odds are pretty good these jobs will be filled by out-of-work locals, or locals just looking for a better shit job than the one they already have.

Also, you're a bit hazy on what politics can achieve: you can't "put an end" to casinos on Indian reservations. That's why they're there in the first place.

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god forbid those dirty locals get a better paying shit job then the shit job they have now. Now that would be a travesty if we put out of work locals to work. What were these people thinking, its not like out of work locals actually need a job!

I think employing out of work locals is a very very very good idea, lest those out of work locals turn to less savory forms of employ such as robbing you and stealing your car, just because you may not live in East Boston doesnt make you exempt either.

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Did you mean to reply to this particular anonymous person, or someone else? (Man, I need to get a login)

For the record, this member of the anonymous mass is neutral on casinos: I think, in the long run, all the wailing and gnashing is built on bullshit, but so are the claims that they'll be any sort of prosperity. Massachusetts is not a gambling resort kind of state.

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Im replying to the one right above me, the person who did not seem to think it was actually creating jobs because it would just go to out of work local locals or people who worked at McDonalds who are looking for a better job. My point was that employing locals and allowing them to move up from the McDonalds' of the world is laudable in its own right.

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Ah, you misread me then. I was replying to the guy above ME that the casinos wouldn't result in a massive influx of poor people "straining the taxpayer".

But I'm not sure a casino is such a step up from Mickey D's, to be honest. We'll see what happens, if this goes through.

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Also, you're a bit hazy on what politics can achieve: you can't "put an end" to casinos on Indian reservations.

"Politics", more specifically Congress, could put an end to that any time it wanted to. Or at least put an end to any future such casinos. All they have to do is repeal the law that enabled them.

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Revere would not be a good location for the casino. Putting one Foxwoods-style somewhere off the Pike or 495 seems like a good idea though. People are going to drive to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun regardless so let's keep the money here. The state runs a huge lottery that I would think is much more dangerous to gambling addiction than a resort casino somewhere.

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Atlantic City casinos were supposed to be the tool to jumpstart that degrading area, instead it turned the sourrounding area into a sewer. The area outside the Vegas strip is much the same.

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Hey! There's a vacant lot in Downtown Crossing that would be _perfect_ for a casino!

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Montreal has a very nice casino that keeps high minimums and seems to fit the city well. I don't think it was much of an issue up there.

The point is that a casino in Boston does not mean the city will turn into Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

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Casino's aren't good or bad - but you need to do your homework and build what would be right for Boston. Probably no need for a slots parlor in Boston to attract the down and out and those in need of Gambler's anonymous. But a low volume, high end Monte Carlo like casino with great food and entertainment (maybe on the waterfront with a gambling/party boat on the dock?) perhaps linked/partnered with a golf course and even the horse track could be very well done - i.e. we need Tiffany's - not Kay jewelry! But again - do your homework (not a specialty of this city) - what's the competition, who's your target, what happens if NYC opens a casino etc. etc.

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is that vegas casinos are on private property and can tell who can come in and who cannot come it. Atlantic City casinos are on public property and it makes it harder to keep the rif-raf out of the nice casinos.

You might need to think of that first so you can keep hookers, homeless, drunks and other constant troublemakers out of the casinos.

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Every version of this Ive seen has stressed private ownership with public oversight. The state doesnt want to be in the casino business they want the casino money. Thats a good point on public/private tho, sometimes its easier to kick people off of private property.

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is that the casinos give the state around 50-100 million a year just as a cost agreed by both sides. I could be wrong, probably not too hard to look up.

And I think slots actually make the most money for the casinos, even the small change ones.

EDIT:

wow, just a quick google search found that in October of 2003, mohegan sun made 68.3 MILLION in slot machine revenue alone! And then gave 1/4 to the state.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/18/nyregion/metro-b...

Times are worse though, as even more searches found that the altantic city casinos are down 18% in revenue from last year.

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100 million is pretty much the operating expenses of a medium sized town in Massachusetts. Not bad, and thats just from the gambling. Dont forget the food and hotel taxes.

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Flaherty and Yoon on casinos during 2007 election campaign for Boston City Councilor-At-Large.

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Well at lease they are being consistent, I disagree with them but respect them for holding the same stance in two different sorts of elections.

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