Meetings & Information


Monday, August 31, 2009

Indiana Fools' Gold

There is a widespread pattern in which the predators of the gambling industry promise anything you want to hear and renege when the Fools' Gold doesn't materialize.
Previous blogs about the topic --
Indiana Tracks needed slots to survive, promised streets paved with gold and then ...........
From Indiana --
A headline in the Aug. 25 Metro & State section read, "Struggling racinos ask for tax break." Oh, please. It's bad enough that by allowing the expansion of gambling in Indiana the state sanctions the exploitation of gambling addicts by private enterprises. But to use public funds to bail them out because they are disappointed with their earnings is beyond preposterous.
Does someone have to explain to them that gambling is inherently risky? Do they assume that because they are "the house," they have some guarantee that they will never lose? Other companies, even those that contribute to actual economic productivity, can go out of business when the economy tanks, so why shouldn't they? Let them fail, and good riddance to them.
Daniel A. Young

If Mr. Young of Zionsville "gets it," why don't Bay State legislators?

Something for nothing

After reading volumes of reports, statistics, testimony and learning more about predatory gambling, addiction, regional impacts, the state revenue loss created and all the negatives associated with expanded gambling, it's nice to know others are figuring this out.

Our view on legalized gambling: Cash-strapped states bet on a bad hand

Plans to legalize sports wagers and add video poker carry social costs.

Several states, facing budget shortfalls because of the recession, think they've found their ace in the hole: Expand gambling and pocket the tax revenue.

Ohio is adding 17,500 slot machines at race tracks. Illinois has sanctioned video pokers at bars, and Pennsylvania's legislature is considering doing the same.

More troubling, other states now want to introduce sports wagering — a new escalation in the nation's steady expansion of gambling. Delaware, one of four states grandfathered under a 1992 federal law that bans betting on sports (the others are Nevada, Montana and Oregon), has decided to allow it — and is being sued by an anxious NFL, the NCAA and other leagues.

Neighboring New Jersey, meanwhile, understandably wants to protect its gaming industry and is suing for permission to offer sports wagering, too.

If you think states are looking for dough in all the wrong places to fill budget holes, you've hit the jackpot.

Proliferation of gambling, of course, is nothing new in the USA. A dozen states have commercial casinos, 29 have Indian casinos, 40 allow parimutuel wagering and 44 have state lotteries. But as the recession intensifies the scramble for gaming revenue, it's worth pausing to consider what's been learned so far. For the relatively modest amount of tax revenue that gambling produces in most places — last year's $6.8 billion was just 1% of state tax receipts nationwide it buys a disproportionate amount of problems:


States looking at video poker for fiscal salvation should consult folks in South Carolina, where it was legal from 1986 to 2000. By 1999, about a fourth of the state's retail businesses — ranging from bowling alleys to convenience stores — included gambling opportunities for customers.

Video poker became known as "the crack cocaine of gambling." In one tragic case that galvanized public opinion, a 28-year-old mother played video poker for seven hours while her forgotten 10-day-old baby suffocated to death in the hot car. When the video poker machines were banned, attendance at Gamblers Anonymous meetings plunged, as did calls to the state's most popular gamblers' hotline.

Sure, sports betting is legal in Las Vegas, and there's plenty of illegal sports betting everywhere else. But making single-game betting more widespread and easily accessible, as Delaware and New Jersey want to do, crosses a new threshold. It is almost guaranteed to encourage point shaving, lead to fixed games and damage the integrity of sports.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell credibly argues that it would create intense suspicion about every dropped pass or blown call. NBA Commissioner David Stern warns that games would increasingly be viewed through a "prism of the impact on the betting line." If the courts reject the sports leagues' lawsuit, Congress may need to revisit the issue.

Aside from the long-term economic and social costs of gambling, recent news suggests that it's not even a reliable short-term solution to fiscal problems. Several states have seen promised windfalls fall short of projections. Last year, casino gambling tax proceeds fell 2.2%. And the more gambling spreads, the more it becomes a zero-sum game as states compete for the same pot.

Gambling is here to stay, but by seeking to expand it as a something-for-nothing solution to budget shortfalls, states are only ducking tough choices between raising taxes or cutting services. For states serious about building sound economic foundations, the notion that gaming is the answer is, like the big Vegas casino of the same name, a mirage.
USA TODAY editorial

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gambling Forum September 10th

Do you have an opinion about the expansion of legalized gambling in Massachusetts?

Do you want to learn more about this proposal?

Do you want your voice heard on this important issue?

Speak out or listen at a

Forum on proposals to expand legalized gambling

Former Attorney General

Scott Harshbarger, moderator

Waltham Government Center Auditorium

119 School Street

(corner of School & Lexington Streets,

one block in from Main Street)

6:30 PM refreshments

7 PM - 9 PM forum

Thursday, September 10

Hosted by the Waltham Democratic City Committee &

Third Middlesex Area Democrats

For further information contact

Tom Larkin

Robert Logan

Come and express your view, pro or con,

on the expansion of legalized gambling in Massachusetts

Saturday, August 29, 2009

House of Cards Waiting to Fall

Photo credit: AP ** ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY, AUG. 31, 2009 **
In this photo made Tuesday, May 5, 2009, the construction site of
MGM Mirage's CityCenter is shown in Las Vegas.
Struggling with an economy that has gouged gambling profits and
drastically limited casino companies' ability to borrow,
MGM Mirage hopes to keep growing its international hotel and casino
empire and fattening its profit _ but have other companies
foot most of the bill. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, file)

Newsday reports --
Struggling with an economy that has gouged gambling profits and cut casino companies' ability to borrow, MGM Mirage hopes to keep expanding its international hotel and casino empire and fattening its profit — but have other companies foot the bill.
They may be the company's only option for expansion as it continues to struggle with massive debt, which it reported at $12.36 billion as of June 30.
Foxwoods reported on brink of default --
Four tribes — none in California — have indicated they will have trouble paying off casino-related debts.
Yesterday, the Manshatucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Connecticut was reported to be on the brink of default and trying to restructure $2.3 billion in debt. The tribe operates Foxwoods Resort Casino, the country's largest.
Bloomberg reports --
Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Crown Ltd.’s second-half loss widened after Australia’s biggest casino owner wrote down its stakes in five North American operators bought just as the worst recession since the 1930s hit.
Crown’s net loss was A$788 million ($651 million) in the six months ended June, compared with a loss of A$76 million a year earlier. The result was derived by subtracting first-half earnings from the record A$1.2 billion full-year loss the Melbourne-based company reported today.
Chairman James Packer led a $3 billion expansion into North American since 2006, a move Chief Executive Officer Rowen Craigie described today as “ill-timed.” Gambling on the Las Vegas Strip slumped 15 percent in the 12 months ended June, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, with Crown writing down the value of four investments to zero.
The company took a total of A$1.44 billion of charges in the past year, including A$892.6 million in the June half.
Cannery, Stations, Harrah’s
Earnings before items for the past year fell 24 percent to A$280.7 million with the company paying a final dividend of 19 cents.
Crown cut 88 percent off the value of its investment in Cannery Casino Resorts LLC and wrote off its holdings in Stations Casinos, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc, Canada’s Gateway Casino Income Fund and Fontainebleau Resorts LLC.
The casino owner scrapped plans to buy all of Cannery, which has venues in Nevada and Pennsylvania, for $1.75 billion in March, instead paying $320 million for an investment that converts to an equity stake of 24.5 percent.
Crown considers it is likely that Cannery’s Las Vegas casinos will be affected by the U.S. recession for some time,” the company said. “In addition, the original projections for the new permanent Meadows Casino in Pittsburgh have been adversely impacted by the onset of the U.S. recession.”
KLAS-TV reports --
Year to date, more than 18,000,000 people have visited Las Vegas for conventions or vacations. There's just that nagging recession, forcing people to spend less. That's shown in the gaming revenue for June, down almost 15-percent on the Las Vegas Strip.
That's the 18th straight month of losses in that revenue, a new record no one wanted to reach. You can read the entire report on the Gaming Control Board's website.
Trump had agreed with the bank holding the primary loan on the casino and gambling operator to pay $100 million to retake the company, a plan which would leave bondholders with over a billion dollars in worthless paper. But the creditors have united and said they wish to purchase the company themselves for $175 million
....Hilton Casino Resort in Atlantic City failed to make its mortgage payment in July on mortgage loan of $349 million.
The Hilton becomes just the latest Atlantic City casino to face a combination of massive debt payments and drastically declining earnings. Trump Entertainment already took its three casinos into bankruptcy earlier this year, and Resorts Atlantic City has been in negotiations to turn its casino over to lenders in exchange for mortgage debt.
Oregon reports --
... lottery income has declined drastically, affected not only by the economy but also a state smoking ban that has driven gambling players to seek their entertainment at tribal casinos, which are untouched by the smoking laws.
Their solution? 2500 slot machines in bars.

Twin River, Rhode Island --


Twin River has handed out layoff notices to 9 full-time employees and 18 part-time workers in anticipation of Saturday’s scheduled suspension of dog racing at the Lincoln track.

In June, following months of economic woes, Twin River operator UTGR Inc., a BLB subsidiary, filed for federal bankruptcy protection, seeking to reorganize the slot parlor’s operations, because the company was struggling to meet its debt-service obligations of $589 million in loans.

Colorado casinos took the second-largest revenue hit in the industry in 2008 with a 12.3 percent drop, according to a new report by the American Gaming Association.

Only Illinois suffered a bigger drop with a 20.9 percent decline. The American Gaming Association attributed the states’ struggles, in part, to smoking bans that took effect last year.

The Seneca Gaming Corp. reported a quarterly loss of $82.7 million in its latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the first quarterly loss since the gambling operation began in 2002, when it opened its first casino in Niagara Falls.


The gambling operation has drastically cut costs since the economy started siphoning off its steady flow of customers, part of a nationwide slump in gambling revenues.

The Seneca casinos earlier cut their work force by 5 percent, froze executive salaries and reduced the amount of money paid to the Seneca Nation in the form of head leases for the casino properties.

But it was the $109 million write-off that did the most damage to the gambling operation’s bottom line in this quarter.

Seneca Gaming wrote off $87 million for the Buffalo operation, $18 million for Salamanca and $3.5 million for Niagara Falls.


It sounds like a House of Cards waiting to fall.


Gambling Addiction

Friday, August 28, 2009

Casino gambling isn’t best for citizens of Alabama

Alabama says --

Casino gambling and the state of Alabama should not mix.

Alabama Agriculture Commissioner and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ron Sparks wants to bring legalized gambling casinos into the state, believing the state would benefit exponentially at the bank.

He is right. Jobs and increased tax revenue would be brought to the state and gambling would become a major industry. Thousands of Alabamians already flock across the Mississippi border to spend their hard-earned money at casinos along the Gulf Coast.

But here is where Sparks is wrong: “I want to tax, regulate and control gambling in this state.”

Taxing gambling sounds fine. But if he truly believes he can regulate an industry with a history of a web of corruption, then he should think again. The power of money – particularly when it’s tied to gambling — is a corrupting influence. The last thing Alabama needs is more corruption than it already has.

Who’s to say that the rich and powerful with strong ties to casinos couldn’t funnel cash into the campaign coffers for potential lawmakers who might see things their way in Montgomery? Think this is outlandish? Think again. According to the Birmingham News, one out of every three dollars donated to Louisiana lawmakers’ political campaigns were from gambling interests – and gambling in Louisiana has been legalized for only three years.

Sparks says gambling is already in Alabama, referring to bingo halls and greyhound racing facilities. Taxing their revenue is a means to raise necessary funds for the state. And it would, but is it worth the risk of inviting corruption?

If gambling were to be legalized, a state lottery makes much more sense. Its proceeds should go toward education – where money is desperately needed.

But instead of appealing to what he believes Democratic voters want, he should instead appeal to what citizens need. For the most part, gambling preys upon those who can least afford it. Look at the number of greyhound racetrack billboard advertisements along our roadways and the message reads, “look at the promise of big winnings.” For every person you see winning big, there are scores of others who lost money that they could ill afford to lose.

Some with low incomes see gambling as their only chance at getting a big payday. Then they slowly watch as what little they have eventually trickle into the hands of others.

Do we want an industry that feeds upon our own citizens?

Keep casinos out of Alabama.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Predatory Gambling

Bob Massie offered the following comments about Predatory Gambling that provide a compelling argument against the expansion of Gambling in the Bay State and are worth a re-visit:
I know this is much longer than most people want to read, so I urge you to skip it if you don't want to follow the more precise discussion about why "two wrongs don't make a right" in the gambling debate.
Part of the argument in favor of expanding slot machine gambling in Massachusetts is that it is taking place in Connecticut. Let's take a look at this argument from a formal standpoint, which could be presented in this form: "Since X, which we acknowledge has some bad consequences is going to happen anyway somewhere else, then we should permit X to happen here."
There are two particularly noticeable flaws in this logic. One is the it relies on the well-known and flawed argument of futility (for those who are familiar with the work of economist and philosopher Albert Hirschman in his book The Rhetoric of Reaction). Arguments of futility are all variations on the theme of inevitability, i.e. "resistance is futile." The basic notion is disempowering. Arguments for futility are generally used to defend the status quo because of some apparently hidden law of reality that "realists" have identified and "idealists" ignore.
For example, the argument of futility was used for several hundred years in response to the proposal to enfranchisement of African Americans on the grounds that since blacks would obviously never be accepted as equals, then there was no sense trying to force this on white people. Or (another version) many white Americans argued that since blacks were not capable of complex mental decisions, they could never be full members of a democracy. I would be happy to expand on the historical nature of this debate as it applied, for example, to whether African-Americans could be enlisted as soldiers in the Civil War. Hirschmann discusses its application in Europe.

The apparent but false power of this kind of argument is that it is really a tautology, a self-fulfilling or seemingly self-confirming prophecy. It basically says that people should give up fighting injustice and then, when people do, argues that the fact they have given up is proof that the injustice was intractable.
So, with regard to recent events, if those who had proposed the vote against slots at the Convention had accepted this argument -- "don't even bother because it would never pass" -- then it would never have been filed and indeed it never would have passed. But fortunately we did not accept the argument of futility and it turns out -- at the very least -- that the supposed inevitability that has been touted by the Speaker, the Senate president, the racetrack owners, the casino moguls and their lobbyists, the unions, the Globe, the Herald, the Wampanoags, and everyone else who has been suggesting that this was a done deal were, perhaps, mistaken. By the way, we could negotiate a deal to roll back predatory gambling all across New England and replace it with a system of economic development based on systematic personal savings - the only thing we lack is political leadership.
What's so odd about the debate in Mass if that If anyone wants to spend anytime on Google you will discover that casinos, slot parlors, etc are crumbling all over the country. Where they are "succeeding, " they are blowing hundreds of small businesses and thousands of low income people into little pieces.
In Russia, where they had 2,600 casinos (we have 1,800 in the US), the Russian government decided eventually that they were causing so much crime and so much economic dislocation that they recriminalized all of them and simply shut them down. Of course, that's a much more authoritarian approach than we are likely to see in the US. But people are waking up all over the country.
The backlash against casino gambling as both a) a victimless form of entertainment and b) a cost-free form of state revenue is building across the nation. There was a wonderful non-violent protest by more than 100 people at the Harrah's casino in Philadelphia yesterday, partly in response to Pennsylvania' s decision -- under Democratic governor Rendell -- to put in 65,000 slots all over the state.
(By the way for those who are interested in the voluminous facts, I urge you to review the Reports and Findings of the U.S. International Gambling Commission, edited by Professor John Kindt, J.D. MBA, etc. of the University of Illinois. But don't do it at night, because you will lose sleep.
One estimate in that study suggests that every slot machine removes one job permanently from the local economy. Why? Because when you think about it, it is a reverse ATM. It spins some lights and sucks money out of your bank account and out of the local economy, transferring to a wealthy corporation. ).
The second formal flaw "bad things are going to happen, so we might as well be the ones to do them" is that it ignores that basic concept of human responsibility and moral agency. This argument was most wonderfully rebutted by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was presented with this same argument about American investment in the brutal South African system of apartheid about 25 years ago.
Many executives said to him "look, if we don't invest in the country, some other company or nation will, and wouldn't it be better for Americans, who might be marginally better employers, to employ blacks than some other country that doesn't care at all?" His memorable reply: "This is like saying to me, "Sir, I know that someone is about to rape your wife, so wouldn't it be better if it were me?" The argument makes no sense logically or morally. If something is harmful to people, it is not made less harmful if we somehow feel personally more comfortable with the people who are causing the harm.
Predatory gambling damages people whether it is inflicted on the citizens of Rhode Island or Connecticut or Massachusetts. We somehow are forgetting, even in the age of Obama, that these citizens of other states are actually all Americans. Remember, we are not talking about social gambling, but about promoting a flawed and dangerous product that it intended to harm the many for the benefit of the few.

I know that people will continuously come back with the idea that people "choose" to do this. But, speaking as an economist and an ethicist, I would like to point out that this assumes fully informed consent. If people knew how severely they are being manipulated, then they might "choose" to do less of this. And the entire point -- which unfortunately we need to keep repeating -- is the harm is actively concealed.
If someone swallows a fake medicine that is falsely promising benefits and concealing the potential damage, we do not say that the person "chose" to do so. There are explicit legal and moral limits to the principle of "caveat emptor". Indeed, the government is supposed to spend its time educating us about those potential problems, not promoting potentially harmful products because it is an easier way to raise money than discussing the real cost of our common life together, such as taxes.
The reason I have gone on at length is that people are making arguments that go beyond personal preferences or opinions into the realm of claims and formal arguments. That is the field of ethics, law, philosophy, research, and facts. I am big fan of discussing political philosophy, just as we are doing -- what are the right boundaries from freedom, for government restriction, for choice, for transparency, etc. And I know that many people, including me, are perfectly happy to carry the discussion into this more technical realm if that will help us make better decisions. My apologies to those who find it tedious.
Prior to the Democratic Convention Bob Massie posted the following:
I am also concerned about the bland "statement of values" which amounts to very little on health, environment, etc.
I would also like to add -- surprise -- that even though many people did what they were supposed to and attended platform hearings and spoke against slots and predatory gambling, this issue was ducked by the platform committee.
For example:

The Cambridge-Somerville hearing voted unanimously that we should not have slots in Massachusetts, yet there was no mention of this being worthy of discussion.

Democratic State Committee members asked for a break out group at the Convention to talk about the merits - and they were blocked.

Some people wanted to run a very fair ad asking for a full discussion in the Jobs for Justice dinner ad -- this was blocked as "too controversial. " Having a discussion is too controversial!

Some people asked to come to the AFL-CIO COPE meeting (at which casino owners were given the chance to make glitzy presentations filled with misleading facts) -- those who wanted to talk about the costs, and not just benefits, were blocked.

In fact, one of the few places where there has been an open discussion has been on this group and on BlueMassGroup. So I think the platform committee largely failed in its mission.
For this reason I hope that those of you who are delegates at the Convention -- as I am right now -- will sign the resolution on predatory gambling so that there can be a very brief (10 minute) debate and then a vote to signal that members of the party have not had the chance to debate this thoroughly.

We have had three speakers who have gone down in flames on corruption charges. We now have fourth who is pushing an issue that has been more closely linked to public corruption (i.e. gambling) than any other issue in the country. Remember Jack Abramoff, Glenn Marshall, Vincent Fumo, and all the others who are now in prison? Do we really think that this legislature or party can have "ethics reform" while simultaneously unleashing millions of dollars of hidden slot machine lobbying money into the back halls of Beacon Hall without consequences?


Indiana Racinos Ask for Tax Break

Indiana ---

The General Assembly passed legislation in 2007 allowing Hoosier Park and Indiana Live — then called Indiana Downs — 2,000 slot machines each at their pari-mutuel venues.
Track officials said revenue from the slots was needed to keep their tracks and the horse racing in Indiana viable, and they agreed to pay $250 million each over two years to get the slots, as well as spend at least $100 million each to build the new casinos. The state imposed a graduated tax on revenue from slots at the so-called "racinos," which opened last summer.

And then --

the track and the state had misjudged revenue projections from the slots.
And then --

Racinos Ask for Tax Break
If you want to see how whacked out our system of taxation is just look to Indiana. In June 2008, horse track owners asked the state to allow slot machines. This idea was sold as a means of 1) reviving the dying horse racing industry, and 2) raising substantial money for the state. Politicians who would rather allow gambling than impose taxes, readily agreed. The tracks have to pay a fee to provide slots, and then must pay a tax on their gross revenue. The tax is how the state was going to make its money. It turns out that even slots can't save horse racing and the tracks are losing money by he bushel. So naturally, the track owners are asking the state for a tax break. Now that is not all that surprising. Industries routinely show up at the legislature with their hands out looking for tax breaks. But the whole point in allowing the slots was to raise more tax revenue.

This is just another example of what's wrong with the system. If the public wants services -- say police officers -- it should pay for them with broad based taxes. No gimmicks. No free money.

See a pattern here?

Remember that Indiana voted for 2,000 SLOT MACHINES at each location.

In Misplaced Decimal Points, I included the text of legislation proposed by State Senator Marc Pacheco that included --

The Attorney General is hereby authorized and directed to promulgate rules and regulations that allow for the installation of
6,000 gaming devices, also known as slot machines,

The licensing fee to be paid to the state for a license to operate a slot machine facility will be $25 million.
$250,000,000 (That's million)

Since 2 of the proposed locations are greyhound racetracks which will cease to exist, by law, on December 31, 2009, this proposal includes creation of 2 Slot Parlors.
$25,000,000 (That's million)
for 1,500 SLOT MACHINES at each of 4 locations - Raynham (Greyhound Dog Track) Park, Wonderland Greyhound Park, Suffolk Downs, Plainridge Racecourse

The text of Senator Pacheco's Slot Parlor proposal deceptively labeled "Local Aid" can be found here: The DiMasi indictment

SECTION 11M. The Attorney General is hereby authorized and directed to promulgate rules and regulations that allow for the installation of 6,000 gaming devices, also known as slot machines, at any racing facility licensed under Section 3 of Chapter 128A as of January 1, 2009, in Bristol, Suffolk and Norfolk counties, and 300 gaming devices at the International Terminals operated by the Massachusetts Port Authority at Logan International Airport.

3. The licensing fee to be paid to the state for a license to operate a slot machine facility will be $25 million.

Those decimal points are so confusing, maybe we should appoint an impartial Blue Ribbon Commission to evaluate the numbers to ensure that any action taken by the legislature is in the best interests of Massachusetts residents.

Foxwoods' "restructuring" won't affect Philly Deal reports --

PhillyDeals: Tribal woes in Conn. won't affect Foxwoods here
By Joseph N. DiStefano

The Mashantucket Western Pequot Tribal Nation, part-owner of a planned Philadelphia gambling hall, is trying to restructure its vast Connecticut casino's $2 billion-plus debt load so it can keep pulling in cash from a shrinking crowd of gamblers.

"We'll be asking creditors to take a big haircut," a tribal adviser told the New London Day.

The Mashantuckets also own Foxwoods Development Co. L.L.C., a 30 percent partner in one of the groups that is trying to open a slot-machine gambling hall in Philadelphia.

The tribe's huge casino complex in southeastern Connecticut is called Foxwoods.

But "Foxwoods Development Co. is a separate corporation from the tribal gaming operations," Brian Ford, president of Washington Philadelphia Investors, which owns the remaining 70 percent, told me.

"Any financial exigency in the tribal gaming operations will have no impact on Foxwoods Development Co.'s ability to be a great partner here in Pennsylvania."

The group will bring its latest proposals before the state gaming board tomorrow, as my colleague Jennifer Lin reported Tuesday.

Casino Revenues Tumbling

When I saw that Tribes positioned for recovery, analysts say, I just had to find out what gems they had to share.

Like other businesses, Indian tribes are having a tough time borrowing money for expansions, said Michael Paladino, a Fitch analyst.
When the credit markets thaw, tribes will face hurdles other industries won't, Paladino said.
Tribes can't sell stock in their casino operations, nor can they mortgage their buildings, which sit on land held in trust by the federal government.

What? No collateral for BILLION DOLLAR LOANS? Does that sound like cash swaps, derivatives and predatory loans that caused the economic implosion of casino gambling investments?
“We are still trying to secure funding,” said Joely Proudfit, who handles media calls for the Pauma band.
Four tribes — .... — have indicated they will have trouble paying off casino-related debts.
No collateral loans and you can't even sue in court to collect. Sounds like worthy credit risks.
Yesterday, the Manshatucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Connecticut was reported to be on the
brink of default and trying to restructure $2.3 billion in debt.
The tribe operates Foxwoods Resort Casino, the country's largest.

... another Fitch analyst, said she didn't think the situation would affect a development deal between the Connecticut tribe and North County's Pauma.

Wonder who the Pauma are?
The Union-Tribune reports --
The 176-member tribe
was responsive to its neighbors....”
Yup! Promise them anything!
And the Foxwoods' connection?
The casino will be managed by a subsidiary of the Manshatucket Pequots, a Connecticut tribe which operates Foxwoods, which bills itself as the largest casino in the world.

He said he was happy about the planned improvements to Route 76, the main artery through the Pauma Valley.
“Some of that cash has a fuse on it, it has to be spent before 2011,” he said. “Clearly the onus now moves to the county and to Caltrans to make sure that available money is spent, is well spent.”

This isn't adequately explained - is this federal or state funding? Sounds like US taxpayers are funding infrastructure improvements for a "Sovereign Nation" that won't pay taxes or abide by US laws.
Generally, Indian casinos do not publicly report their financial performance. Fitch said it relied on conversations with clients within the industry to extrapolate from publicly available information.
Good way to loan money!
No public scrutiny.
No transparency.
No collateral.
No legal options in event of defaults.
No oversight or accountability.
This sounds like the makings for the next financial scam.

Government is hooked on gambling

When Slot Machines are used to replace sensible tax policy, it's difficult to find words to describe the short-sighted policies of political leadership, which is why the words of Brian Duplessis impressed --

In the spirit of trying to help our political leaders make our province a better place.... to be in, I have a suggestion.

Each week, key leaders such as the premier, the leader of the opposition, present and former ministers of finance, health and social development can sit around a table under the guidance of a trained facilitator and discuss their addiction problems.

They can use the model of a 12-step program followed by Gamblers Anonymous. I include opposition figures because in the past they have displayed the same symptoms of addiction as those in power.

Of course, the challenge will be the same as that faced by other gambling addicts. They think their current winning streak makes them impervious to the ravages of their addiction. Let's face it - they have the odds stacked in their favour with all the percentages rigged to make sure they are the only ones that make money and the cash just keeps rolling in.

But like anyone else who thinks gambling will get them ahead, they are sadly wrong.
Who do they think the money is coming from?

It's clear that the effects of the recession are ringing long and loud in recent days in our province. And like any gambler who needs some fast cash, the province is turning to its cash cow - gambling.

A couple of months ago, I wrote a column pointing out to Premier Graham that life is about choices. Perhaps the government's choice to reduce taxes for the wealthiest in our province is now being paid for by sucking the life out of some of the poorest of our citizens through the little slots on the VLTs.

A couple of items in the news should make all of us ashamed to be sitting quietly by and letting our government take the last drop of blood from those suffering from this addiction.

The first one is that half a million dollars is being given as an advance to the harnessing racing industry as part of the longer term commitment to increase the number of VLTs at race tracks.
Apparently it is not difficult to find money for that purpose, but when social workers are needed in family court or social assistance rates need to be increased, the cupboard is bare. Choices, Mr. Premier, choices.

Or when no one is really paying much attention, the weekly limit of what you can bet online at the Atlantic Lottery Corporation site is upped from $99 a week to $1,000 a week, what is the government's response?

When I asked the government, a spokesperson said I'd have to ask Atlantic Lottery because it is an arm's length relationship. Such a great excuse when what you are really doing is holding your nose to avoid the stink of what you are really doing.

And what did Atlantic Lottery say?

"Our players have told us that they would prefer to spend their money in a regulated gaming environment where profits are returned to pay for the things they care about, like schools, roads and other important public services."

What drivel!

I'm sure those who are throwing away their paycheques through Atlantic Lottery's online site are sitting back and saying to themselves, "Gosh darn, that sure makes me feel better knowing that I am contributing to having nice roads to drive on for the folks whose cars haven't been repossessed because of their addiction."

Funny thing - I don't hear that from the men and women who have no choice but to live in a homeless shelter when absolutely everything is lost. And I am steadily seeing more and more clients whose main addiction is gambling.

And what about the government's Responsible Gaming Policy of removing VLTs from some locations and increasing them in others? It is a joke.

My suspicion is that they are removing them from the less profitable sites into sites where the take is even bigger. Some of our clients at the men's shelter have pointed out a number of bars that have recently doubled the number of machines on their premises.

Ah yes - gambling and booze. Always a guaranteed winning combination.

Brian Duplessis is the executive director of Fredericton Homeless Shelters and can be reached at

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More Mashpee Wampanoag Bad Luck

In Stupid Comments I Have Known, the following comments were included since it appeared that Gayle Andrews had an identity crisis --

From Cape Cod Times
Tribal council spokeswoman Gayle Andrews said in a statement that the tribe is deeply saddened. "For the past year-and-a-half, the tribal leadership has worked successfully to get the government up and running and will continue to work on behalf of its 1,600 members."

This is the same Gayle Andrews Peter Kenney wrote about who
seems to have difficulty with her heritage and ethnic identity unless
$$$$ is involved --

Gayle Andrews: Mashpee or Aquinnah?
While Andrews lived and worked in Florida she identified herself
as black -- African American -- and she traded on that racial
identity exclusively even though she was also a member of the
Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. At one point -- before the Mashpee
had gained federal recognition -- Andrews and her mother
applied for membership in the Aquinnah (Gay Head)
Wampanoag tribe and were accepted. (See 12/04/07
WampaGate link at the bottom) Andrews surrendered her
Mashpee membership. Suspicions arose within the Aquinnah
Wampanoag tribe over the Andrews' historical material and
genealogy submitted in support of their application. A year-long
investigation resulted in their expulsion from the tribe.

It should come as no surprise that Ms. Andrews is suing the Tribe - the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, that is, in Florida. Next, they'll announce that the Mashpee Wampanoag were the first snow birds, have ties to Florida and are going to claim land there as well. Watch out Florida!
In other cases, such as those relating to "Shunned Members" of the Tribe, Sovereign Immunity has been claimed - exempting the Tribe from jurisdiction in US courts.
Massachusetts courts have repeatedly dismissed cases involving the tribe because they lack jurisdiction since the Mashpee tribe gained federal recognition in 2007. Andrews argues that a former tribe chairman waived that sovereign immunity and gave Florida courts jurisdiction over the contract.
Not to present the complex case law regarding SOVEREIGNTY, it does seem that you can't flip flop around sovereign sometimes, not sovereign other times. This case should prove interesting.
Here's a Tribe with no money. The investors have cut the cash flow. REEL Wamps presents some interesting insight into the inner workings that seem to prove you can't follow Con Men with Casino Glitter in their eyes.
Gayle's fees were among those itemized here -
Campaign Contributions

Foxwoods "Bankruptcy" ?

Gambling is so wildly profitable, so we're told, then why is Foxwoods restructuring their debt?

Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Mashantucket Western Pequot Tribal Nation, owner of the Foxwoods Resort Casino, is seeking to restructure at least $1.45 billion in debt as winnings dwindle, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
A restructuring plan has been submitted to creditors and the Connecticut casino’s owners have hired Miller Buckfire & Co., a New York investment bank, as an adviser, said the person, who declined to be identified because the talks aren’t public.

Creditors probably can’t take over assets or operations of casinos on tribal land, which are
sovereign nations,
as they may with commercial bankruptcies, Neuburger said on a conference call. That leaves them little choice other than to restructure debts and work with the tribe, Neuburger said. No tribal casino has tested bankruptcy laws.

“It might be posturing, but the tribe is indicating that it might put itself, the equity holder, ahead of the debt, ignoring corporate law,” said Klatzkin. “It probably won’t happen, but if it does, who’s to say other tribes don’t say, ‘If Foxwoods doesn’t need to meet its U.S. legal obligations, maybe I don’t either.’”
Three smaller tribal gaming companies have missed loan obligations during the recession, Neuburger said. In New Mexico, Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino and Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino, and in Michigan, Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, have defaulted on bond payments.

And from Topeka, Kansas --
Foxwoods and another former competitor, Lakes Entertainment Inc., of Minnetonka, Minn., each are responsible for half the financing for Chisholm Creek. Foxwoods President Gary Armentrout said they won't have to rely on any debt financing.
"We can now come to the state of Kansas with the assurances that we can build this facility with all cash," he said.

Both Foxwoods and Lakes Entertainment will be involved in the casino's management, but the former competitors haven't settled on a role for South Central Gaming Partners investors, Armentrout said.

Foxwoods is owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Connecticut, which operates what its officials describe as the largest gambling-and-resort complex in the U.S. there. Lakes Entertainment has operated 11 tribal casinos in seven states, including California and Oklahoma.

Are Americans taxpayers going to have to bailout banks that loaned Tribal casinos money next?
This comment from a friend --
Professor John Kindt, a national expert on gambling has recently described how expanded gambling has become a matter of national economic security. See article below on latest mega-casino in financial difficulty. What no one believed possible, Foxwoods is in trouble.
Maybe leaders on Beacon Hill should consider themselves lucky that they didn't vote this into law a few years ago.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Shall we follow RI off the same cliff?

Carcieri orders 12 'shutdown days', municipal aid cuts

WOW! Weren't slots supposed to save Rhode Island?

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- R.I. state government will shut down for a total of 12 days between now and next June to help close a massive budget hole, Governor Carcieri announced Monday afternoon. The governor also unveiled plans to withhold the final $32.5 million in quarterly reimbursements to cities and towns as compensation for reducing local car-tax levies.

State As Stakeholder ?

How then, Grogan asks, does a company like Twin Rivers go bankrupt?

Why, because it's largest stakeholder, THE STATE, did not help solve it's problems.

And it's all the State's fault. It's a bad Stakeholder.

Maybe Grogan's right.
But, just maybe, those who have spoken out about the true costs of gambling that go beyond the heavy burden of addiction to Predatory Gambling, and include the cost of Regulating, Enforcing, Prosecuting, and so much more are the ones who are right. Maybe that's why every state with expanded gambling is in worse shape than Massachusetts.
Maybe Massachusetts' leaders were wise not to jump hastily onto that bandwagon that has destroyed lives and budgets.
Time for a Blue Ribbon Commission?

Some ideas just make sense

If New Hampshire can appoint a Gaming Study Commission, why can't Massachusetts?

Some critics of expanded gaming are warning that the gambling issue needs to be fully vetted.

“I don’t think the average person, or even the average legislator, has a full grasp of the magnitude of what needs to be considered,’’ added Kathleen Conley Norbut, a resident of Monson and a member of the group United to Stop Slots in Mass.

Rosenberg said that with the debate now heating up, the biggest mistake the state can make is to rush the process.

“If we do this,’’ he said, “we’re going to live with this for a long time.’’

Follow the losers

Indiana added slot machines to race tracks because --

Track officials said revenue from the slots was needed to keep their tracks and the horse racing in Indiana viable

This is the claim made around the country. Frequently, it works.

Of the Raynham Dog Track --

“It’s not doing as well as it once did, but that’s only because we haven’t allowed them to compete,” said state Sen. Marc R. Pacheco, D-Taunton.

[Rep. Slots] Flynn has estimated the state would reap $700 million from slots in their first year and $400 million annually thereafter, but since the economy has continued slumping, he has backed off any firm figure.

Wow! Such revenue! Except it wasn't true then and isn't true now.

And NOW ?

The discussion [by the Indiana state Senate Committee on Gaming] is expected to include tax breaks for so-called "racinos" and whether to allow table games....

That's the way it works! Promise anything and push for expansion when reality sets in!

Of the most recent push, for slots at race tracks or racinos, Raynham Selectman Joseph Pacheco repeated the oft-heard and untrue refrains --
'This will not only create revenue, but also create and maintain jobs.”
Wow! Mr. Pacheco has got the canned casino rhetoric down pat!

Let's copy the recipe of failure offered by others --
The study, appearing in the latest issue of "The Journal of Economics," found that
the average salary of racino employee is less than $14,000 annually.

From Treasurer Cahill's Suicide Pact? --
Slot parlors around the country are collapsing; Rhode Island may have to use PUBLIC money to buy out their own racetrack slot parlor

In a speech by State Treasurer Timothy Cahill to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, he offered --
...licensing fees for 15- to 20-year operating rights could bring in between $2 billion and $3.3 billion in up-front payments, ....up to $244 million annually by collecting a 27 percent tax on revenue from the slot machines...

...the governor's 2007 estimate, which was $600 million to $900 million. (which was an overestimate at the time)

Twin River in Rhode Island has about 4,000 slot machines; in Connecticut, Foxwoods Resort and Casino has more than 7,000 and Mohegan Sun has 6,600.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Let's Copy Las Vegas!

So, you want to copy Las Vegas ?

In a repeat of last year, Nevada was the lowest-ranking state in the nation with a graduation rate of 47.3 percent.

Clark County's graduation rate is even lower at 46.8 percent, which places it at 43 among the nation's 50 biggest school districts, according to Education Week's annual Diplomas Count study

The graduation rate in Nevada declined by 23 percentage points between 1996 and 2006 while the national graduation rate improved by 2 percentage points to 69 percent.

"Among the nation's leaders, Iowa, New Jersey, and Wisconsin each graduates more than 80 percent of all high school students," said the study, which was released Tuesday. "At the opposite end of the spectrum, just under half of students finish high school in the District of Columbia and Nevada. A gap of 35 percentage points divides the top and bottom states."
Local educators fault the study's methodology but agree that the state has reason to be embarrassed.

"The citizens in Nevada should be up in arms about being at the bottom of the list for education, health care and other social services for their children," said Clark County School District Superintendent Walt Rulffes.

Before we jump on any bandwagon and rush to copy a fad, there seems to be a correlation between predatory gambling and the well being of state residents.

Gambling's Dirty Little Secret

Massachusetts Governor Patrick's legislation proposed setting aside $50 million per year to treat gambling addiction maybe predicated on a 5% rate of addiction even thought Louisiana reports a 7% rate of gambling addiction.
Our neighbors to the north report --

The government's own report, commissioned in 2003, supports these theories. Where the province estimates that 4.6 per cent of British Columbian gamblers are addicts, the "Problem Gambling Prevalence Study" estimated that 9.9 per cent of Internet gamblers have a moderate or severe problem. That one-in-10 figure was suggested long before Internet gambling became a mainstream phenomenon.

This is Gambling's Dirty Little Secret.

Plucked From the Handbook

From Oregon ---

We continue to believe that opening the door to a non-tribal casino anywhere in Oregon would be a grave mistake, and

that any economic benefits provided by a casino would be puny in comparison to the social costs – increased gambling addiction among them.

....poll respondents were told of a “world-class resort casino” that would create more than 1,000 jobs and contribute money to education. Respondents didn’t hear any arguments from the other side.
Wow! Where have we heard about misleading questions distorting poll results to prove support for casinos?
Wow! Job Creation! Money for Education!
Plucked right from the "Selling Casinos to Those Who Don't Do Their Homework" Handbook!
Is anyone asking how many LOW WAGE JOBS will be created?

Less Vegas ....

Las Vegas, promoted as the model to emulate has fallen on hard times.

Interesting article about building a House of Cards --

... I come across something rarely seen in Vegas: frozen construction projects. I pass cranes abandoned at the site of the Echelon, a huge, multibillion-dollar project of four hotels that is now just three buildings of nine floors of concrete and steel beams sitting idly on some of the most expensive real estate in the country. I pass three more abandoned sites — 63 empty steel floors of the Fontainebleau, a sad unfinished shell that was supposed to be Caesars Palace's Octavius Tower and two cranes halted on a structure that was supposed to be a St. Regis condo building. I then drive up to where the New Frontier was razed to build a resort modeled on New York City's Plaza Hotel. It's just a dirt wasteland, so ugly that Wynn planted a row of trees so his hotel guests wouldn't stare at it from their windows. I never realized an economic defeat could look so much like a military one.

Just as Americans did with their houses, casino owners borrowed way too much money to build hotels that were way too big. Economists like Yale's Robert Shiller have warned that the next big wave of failures in the U.S. recession will be in commercial real estate — and once again, Las Vegas is headlining. Even worse, the bottom fell out as casino owners were building, so a number of them couldn't replace construction loans with the financing that was once readily available to complete and open hotel-condo-casino projects. Deutsche Bank foreclosed on the $3.9 billion Cosmopolitan Hotel; only it couldn't find a buyer, so the bank is in the odd position of owning a casino — though given the way banks have operated in this decade, that seems like a logical business extension. Meanwhile, Station Casinos, Tropicana and Herbst Gaming have disproved the adage that you can't lose money owning a casino. They borrowed big and went bankrupt.

The recession has hit everything from philanthropy to stripping to the solvency of Nevada. Because Nevada has no income tax and relies almost entirely on taxing casino owners, the state is nearly bust. Governor Jim Gibbons, a Republican, whom only 11% of voters say they would re-elect, tried to turn down federal stimulus money, was accused of cheating on his wife and lost control of the legislature, having his vetoes overridden more times than any other Nevada governor. Budget cuts have closed the only hospital cancer wing for uninsured patients. "We're on the bottom of every bad list," says Steven Horsford, majority leader of the Nevada senate and de facto head of Nevada's government, who tried and failed to enact a corporate income tax. The state is so desperate, the legislature even considered a state lottery.

There are lifeless shopping malls everywhere; Neonopolis, the $100 million, 250,000-sq.-ft. downtown mall, has almost no open stores left.

The article even includes Sheldon Adelson, a proponent of expanding gambling in Massachusetts --

That is true even of Sheldon Adelson, who has lost more during this recession than anyone else on the planet. The 76-year-old chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., which owns the Venetian hotel, the Sands Expo and Convention Center and the Venetian Macao, was in 2007 and '08 the third richest person in the world, with — by his estimate — a net worth of $40 billion. By February of this year, he said he had lost $36.5 billion — more than the GDP of half of the countries in the world. In the years before that slide, banks were begging him to take their money, given his massive success in building the first Vegas-style hotel and casino in Macao, China, in 2004. Adelson didn't hesitate, taking all he could get and building an entire mini-Vegas in Macao called the Cotai Strip, along with huge casinos in Singapore; he also doubled his Vegas space by adding the Palazzo to his Venetian hotel. In a short time, he has accumulated a debt-to-earnings ratio of 6.8 to 1 in the U.S. Then the loans stopped coming, and his stock price sank from $144 to $1.42 in March. (It now hovers at about $12.) That's his crane parked between the Venetian and the Palazzo resort, atop the St. Regis condominium, on which work has been halted for the foreseeable future.

New Hampshire Gov. Appoints Gaming Study Commission

Unlike Massachusetts where Governor Patrick relied heavily on perennial casino cheerleader-for-hire and UMass. Dartmouth Professor Clyde Barrow for his failed Predatory Gambling proposal, it seems that New Hampshire Governor Lynch is attempting to analyze costs.
In fairness to Governor Patrick, he also spent $189,000 taxpayer dollars to have Spectrum prepare a biased 300 page report.

While Barrows was recommending three commercial casinos, Spectrum had determined that two commercial casinos and one tribal casino would be the perfect mix.

And I'm certain this could have had nothing to do with the fact that Sol Kerzner, the South African billionaire casino investor behind both Rhode Island's Twin Rivers and Connecticut's Mohegan Sun, and one of the men who wanted to put the Mashpee Wampanoag casino on the map, was a client.

Spectrum, in fact, once proudly listed Kerzner International as a client on the front page of their web site though, for some reason, this year, it's no where to be found.

In New Hampshire --

The [New Hampshire Gaming Study] commission will review various models for expanded gambling and their potential to generate state revenue. The commission also must assess the social, economic and public safety impacts of gambling options on the state's quality of life.

[New Hampshire Governor] Lynch has previously stated that in order to approve any expanded gambling, he would have to be convinced that it wouldn't negatively affect quality of life.

The Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling
offers many of the same objections Beacon Hill should study --

Overstatement of projected revenues by Cannery Casino.
The clear evidence that casino proximity increases gambling addiction.
Calculations showing that casino social and economic costs exceed tax revenues.
Links to five papers showing that casinos increase crime.
Evidence that casinos increase childhood gambling, addiction and crime.
Evidence that casinos increase in suicide.
Evidence that video slot machines are far more addictive than lottery.
Problem and addicted gamblers generate over half of casino revenue.
Community “social capital” index drops within 15 miles of casinos.
Addiction treatment services address only a small part of the addiction problem.
Why local chambers of commerce are rejecting casinos.

The financial impacts and social costs don't change with the state. Gambling is a loser except for wealthy investors who love legislators who form their opinions before examining the costs and expenses.
It's time for the wise leaders on Beacon Hill to insist on a Study Commission as well.

Friday, August 21, 2009

“I stand before you today clean of drugs and free of gambling,” he wrote in his statement.

According to associates, Mikesell's “rock-star” lifestyle, which included expensive cars, drugs and reckless gambling, contributed to his business flameout.

Judgments in excess of $700,000 are on file in Bexar County, and additional large sums are owed to subcontractors.


Unemployment Rates

The Boston Globe reports --

Jobless rate for Mass. at 8.8%

California unemployment: 11.9 percent reported by The Sacramento Bee --

California was tied with Oregon for the fourth-highest unemployment rate in the nation. Michigan was No. 1 at 15 percent, followed by Rhode Island (12.7 percent) and Nevada (12.5 percent).

Nevada's not looking so good these days.

Can we draw an analogy with unemployment rates and Predatory Gambling?

Maybe it really isn't the job creator we think.

Lobbyists' Contributions

Open Secrets produced a report of campaign contribution trends from Casino/Gambling indicating that in 2008, $17,093,452 were contributed (excluding Levin funds).
The graph indicates annual increases in contributions.

State As Stakeholder

In case you missed some of the quotes from the gambling shills that Massachusetts will become a STAKEHOLDER in expanded gambling, my favorite nosey neighbor explains it all - here goes --

“The Commonwealth will become the biggest stakeholder in the 'gaming' business.”

And, as a stakeholder you will be asked to solve problems as they arise.

How then, Grogan asks, does a company like Twin Rivers go bankrupt? Why, because it's largest stakeholder, THE STATE, did not help solve it's problems.

And it's all the State's fault. It's a bad Stakeholder.

And, so, it should come as no surprise, that the cash-strapped State of Rhode Island, addicted to slot parlor revenues, promotes, supports, expands and genuflects to gambling revenues.

Slot income drops at Newport and Lincoln

What a surprise! So what do they do?

The rise also may be due to a recent
aggressive marketing campaign
the slot parlor launched as it gave away free-play vouchers and coupons for discounts on food and beverages, she [Diane Hurley, Newport Grand’s chief executive officer] said.

Newport Grand got permission from the state Lottery to give away $300,000 in free-play over a 90-day trial period.

The Newport slot parlor launched the new player rewards program in late June, after winning approval from state Lottery Director Gerald S. Aubin on May 19.
Professor Goodman explained that the state would move from being regulator to being promoter.
State as STAKEHOLDER? Oh? Managed like the Big Dig?
A Blue Ribbon Commission, appointed by the legislature would prove to you that Predatory Gambling causes expenses to exceed revenues.
Is that what they don't want you to know?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

When Investors Look Bad, Just Lie

Indiana Racino tries to look good in spite of evidence to the contrary --

Researchers looked at so-called 'racinos' in West Virginia over a 26-year period and found that they do not provide an economic boom, but instead depress local incomes with low-paying jobs, 6News' Norman Cox reported.

The study showed that the businesses increased employment in communities by 1.1 percent, but decreased overall salaries 2.9 percent.
6News asked to talk to Hoosier Park employees, but were only allowed to interview hand-picked individuals, while managers looked on.
That sure sounds legit!
Mr. Speaker, Are you watching? How 'bout you, Mr. "Slot Parlor" Cahill?
When employees are intimidated, what does that mean?

Can you subtract?

Since folks like short and simple sound bytes, allow me to toss out numbers that are as valid as the fairy tales the gambling industry [or casino shill Barrow] is promoting --

Estimated REASONABLE revenues $200 million

Gambling Addiction Treatment
included in Gov. Patrick's proposal - $50 million

Estimated cost of enforcement,regulation by adding to bureaucracy
in AG's office -$100 million

Estimated cost of Gaming Commission -$50 million

Estimated decline in lottery local aid funds -$100 million

Estimated additional cost for state and local police --
investigation and prosecution -$$$$ TO BE DETERMINED

Estimated tunnel to Wonderland for slot parlor -$400 million

Estimated water to Town of Palmer -$50 million

Estimated infrastructure
upgrade to Palmer -$500 million ?

traffic is backed up each weekend on the Mass Pike for 30-35 miles.
You simply can't increase daily traffic flow by 50,000 cars per day.

Governor Patrick's legislation proposed -2% for regional impacts.
Can you see the impending "food fight" over inadequate funding to address impacts?

Wow! 2% for Regional Impacts! Impressive sum! Oh? Wait. That's 2% of $200 million or $4 million. I get so confused by all those zeroes. That's right isn't it?

Can you see where this is going? We simply can't afford to enrich wealthy casino investors.

If you thought the Big Dig was expensive, .....?