They’ll be here - those pesky casinos will arrive and by here I do not mean our isolated little community of Middleboro. As a NIMBY I applaud the grassroots efforts to slam the door shut on this beleaguered community getting the former billion dollar destination casino-resort - NEVER resort-casino - to be elsewhere along with all the pluses and minuses.
Now the other part of the picture is that casinos will be somewhere in the state and so - maybe - will slots. Once the infighting between House and Senate is resolved the fast track to gaming will be a fairly smooth ride since voters want it, legislators want it and, of course, unions want it. This is where various anti organizations have totally and utterly failed. A classic example of trying to legislate moral behavior to those who reject it. Gaming is a full blown state sanctioned operation and casino/slots are just another step forward - or backward - to get what the masses want. I can eventually see frustrated Carry Nation types wandering past security to take their axes to a roulette or craps table. Beware of the indignation of the self-righteous.
IMO the Middleboro collapse of our billion dollar “destination casino-resort” failed for some rather obvious and simple reasons. Start with the “It’s the economy, stupid!” Bad time to invest when discretionary spending is being contained. The second is “The Raven.” Need I say more. “The Raven” has made the Tribe look like a Central American Banana Republic. The third is the state itself. The actions of the Tribe via recognition forced the hand of the state into moving forward on this issue since money was being siphoned away to other states. Keep the suckers home! Keep the Tribe locked down.
I love the fact that some rather misleading stats were employed by - again, IMO, by the anti’s to discredit gaming. This very blog focused on some of the more outrageous ones but that reaction is expected and all it does is show the inability to formulate a constructive argument based on pertinent facts and not self created fiction. That those very “facts” were allowed to percolate certainly says all one needs to know about the anti movement. Most don’t mind a local crusade to keep our community as pristine as possible but care not to be involved in an operation that actually counteracts the fact that many actually support gaming - NIMBY’s to the core.
I have blogged here and elsewhere on my visits to casinos across the country and they are not exactly evil incarnate. Most run a solid operation with decent pay and contribute to the communities they are in. It is neither the end of the world scenario painted by the anti’s or the golden goose one painted by the pro’s. Most of the ones I paid a visit to are Native American operations that were mid sized or smaller when compared to the proposed operation in Middleboro or the mega casino-resorts sprouting up world wide. I guess size does matter.
I really never have seen any drug dealers or prostitutes roaming the parking lots. I saw no swan dives off the 8th floor over gambling losses. I’m sure these issues do exist and will exist in any place when large sums of money are being exchanged and people are “enjoying” themselves. I see some rather exotic behaviors at Fenway around the 7th or 8th inning. I don’t dismiss the impact of gaming but I am not willing to accepts cherry picked “woe is me” stories designed to place everyone who walks through the faux golden doors as entering into a bed of moral depravity and fiscal doom. Somehow a good potion of the customers seem to be doing what they wish to do and I for one really can choose to participate or not. So can they.