Meetings & Information


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pot to Kettle?

Big Tobacco protest lawsuit. Their defense?

"This action is even more hypocritical when one considers the major role played by the Government of Ontario and the governments of other provinces in the sale of other products for which the risks are well known, including alcohol and gambling."

Study: Jobs and Revenue Overstated, Addiction Ignored

Issue 3 is on the November ballot for Ohio voters to vote again on predatory gambling --

A study released Tuesday by a statewide bar and restaurant group rips a four-casino proposal for over-promising on jobs and local aid that gambling could bring to Ohio's largest cities, including Cleveland.

[Retired Hiram economics professor Thomas] Pascarella pointed out that the Cincinnati study does not take into consideration the full impact of casinos on gambling addiction, charitable gambling or the Ohio Lottery.

Pascarella said casinos, outside of Nevada, don't bring in any new business or residents or spur growth for a city or region.

Declining Las Vegas Revenues

Bloomberg reports --

Stephen Wynn, 67, is selling assets in Macau, the world’s biggest gambling hub, as he grapples with falling revenue at Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s Las Vegas operations.

Earnings at Wynn Resorts have fallen for the past two years as a global economic slowdown hurt travel and spending at the company’s Las Vegas casinos and hotels.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

State Sponsored Predatory Gambling Opposed in Philly



One of the protesters:

" can't build the strength of a city through creating addiction and poverty..."

Kudos to Philadelphia's residents for taking such an impressive stand to oppose predatory gambling! And thanks, Les for posting this!

As a footnote, Foxwoods' "restructuring" won't affect Philly Deal included --
"We'll be asking creditors to take a big haircut," a tribal adviser told the New London Day.

They can't pay their bills in CT, but they're moving forward in Philly?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just Another Victim

Just another victim with a judge who told it like it is --

[Bernetta Hineroa Norton-Taylor, 41] who defrauded two small clubs to feed her gambling habit was the victim of a government sanctioned industry that encouraged people to gamble, a judge has said.

"You are the victim of an industry that has government approval and the approval of some community groups, that is set up to encourage people to gamble in a way that finally induces the type of addiction you ve suffered."

... had fallen prey to an addiction which caused her to break the trust of the club and the community.

Dear Mr. Joseph J. Turek:

Foxwoods is imploding. Predatory Gambling revenues are declining. Indian casinos are defaulting on their loan payments. Discretionary income is declining. Personal income is stagnant. Unemployment is rising.

And some, dazzled by the fool's gold of predatory gambling believe --

Casinos are a hot topic as unemployment rates rise and the economy continues its dismal slide.

Where is this magical source of money supposed to come from? Manna from Heaven?

This seems like an acknowledgment that gambling will divert dollars and interest --

[Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau board chairman Gregory B.] Chiecko said the board would like funding for marketing to support arts and restaurants affected by a casino.

As Mr. Turek organized his impressive rally of 15 people, some of whom seemed to be children and family members, here's what he said --

[newly formed Pioneer Valley Jobs Coalition president, Joseph J.] Turek said he’d like to know the real reason why some oppose Connecticut-based Mohegan building a casino across from the Massachusetts Turnpike exit on Thorndike Street (Route 32).

Dear Mr. Turek:
You don't know me, but ....
I'm willing to excuse any lack of information on your part that maybe you were out of any communication or some reason fully unknown to me.
It is known that predatory gambling is wildly profitable and the industry can afford well paid lobbyists who drowned out other voices. Most in the media readily regurgitate the information. Those expensive PR firms keep them on message - Jobs, blah, blah, blah, revenue for children, seniors, local aid, blah, blah, blah.
Mohegan Sun is that much more profitable because they only pay their host community, Montville, CT, $500,000 per year with no escalation clause and no slots participation and starve the community with the impacts.
The CT Casinos pay no state sales tax, no motel taxes, no corporate tax and so on. They don't have to abide by the rules that you and I do.
Both CT casinos are currently exempt from the liability created by allowing drunk drivers to take to the roads. CT Slot Parlors: Good Neighbors? Think Not!
Your proposed business partner allows drunk drivers to get behind the wheel, kill and maim people and has taken no corrective action to address the issue.
When Middleboro and surrounding communities first realized a Mega Casino was about to be forced on us with no public discussion or consideration of the impacts, we knew little about predatory gambling, but worked to educate ourselves and share information with each other.
Allow me to provide some information.
You might consider the wealth of information available here:
United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts

Stop Predatory Gambling

When you have digested that information that merely scratches the surface, there's far more we can pass along.
You might want to consider We Can Always Build More Casinos, Right? --
A 2005 study by the Federal Reserve found a statistically significant relationship between proximity to casinos in Mississippi and bankruptcy rates in the region, which includes impoverished states like Alabama and Tennessee.
The Federal Reserve has no position on Predatory Gambling.
My fellow bloggers, listed to the right of this screen have done a great job addressing the many issue surrounding predatory gambling.
Recently, former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger moderated a forum in Waltham that allowed both sides of the discussion to be debated respectfully.
Last week, Rep. Tom Conroy conducted a forum in Sudbury.
Maybe you didn't know about those, but we hope to see you at future forums, that is, if you truly want to understand the issue.
The State of New Jersey employs 1500 state employees dedicated solely to gambling. What will that cost us, Massachusetts taxpayers? In fairness, let's include training, office costs, new state vehicles and gas and maintenance, pension and health care.
Maybe it was this - AG Coakley got it right!
Independent research has shown that for every $1 earned in revenue from casinos, $3 is spent in the costs associated with them.
Last time the issue was voted on, Rep. Conroy prepared a report that was conservative and failed to consider many of the costs, but was persuasive. The realistic projected revenues generated by gambling will equal the reductions in state lottery revenues. Isn't this Net Zero?
This is not easy to dismiss because the lottery returns 25 cents of every dollar to cities and towns. Predatory Gambling returns only a fraction of that.
Today's Boston Globe included State set to recover sooner than US Job losses slowing, housing on rebound. That seems to mean that what we are going through is temporary and will end. Predatory Gambling won't.
If you truly want answers, attend a forum, ask questions.
But please, stop condemning those who have done their homework, examined the experience of many others, read numerous books and refused to accept "inevitable" for an answer.
It's time to insist on a cost/benefit analysis as New Hampshire has done before we embark on this misadventure.

Gambling Addiction

This about says it all --

Despite their losses, senior citizens keep going to the casinos. 'They roll out the red carpet when I come in,' one retiree says.

Am I addicted?" she asked. "Of course."

Lots of seniors are addicted, she said. You come into the casino in the middle of the day and see them with their "wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, the whole megillah." But at least Sandy knows why she does it. "Because I'm hiding and I'm lonely," she said.

Ralph and Jan ... [are] thinking of moving from the Valley to the desert, ignoring a daughter's plea that they do something else with their time and money.

Another Foxwoods Deal Gone

The Pauma Tribe in California is suing the state over terms of a 2004 agreement after Foxwoods cancelled the deal.

Late last year, Pauma's project for a $300 million hotel and casino with the Mashantucket Pequots' Foxwoods Development Co. of Connecticut hit the rocks.

Pauma's project developer declared the project "not feasible" and canceled funding for it, according to the lawsuit.

A spokesman for the Connecticut tribe said it was unable to get the project financed because of the recession.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Predatory Gamblilng Adds to Long-Term Budget Problems

From Stop Predatory Gambling --

New report reveals government-sponsored predatory gambling adds to long-term budget problems
By SPG September 25, 2009 at 07:15 AM EDT

Here’s the must-read press release and the report:

"State and local government revenues from authorized gambling operations declined by 2.8 percent from fiscal year 2008 to 2009, marking the first time those revenues have declined in over three decades, according to a new report issued today by the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Data on the decline come as states continue to examine casinos, video-lottery terminals and other gambling operations as potential sources of new revenue — with more than 25 states considering such proposals in the past year.

Authors of the study — For the First Time, a Smaller Jackpot: Trends in State Revenues From Gambling — said new gambling activities often provide a quick boost to state revenues, but generally do not keep pace with traditional tax revenues and government expenditures over time.

“The historical tendency for revenues from existing gambling operations to grow at a significantly slower pace than other state revenues may hold important lessons for states as policymakers consider further expansion of casinos, racinos, and other gambling activities,” Institute Deputy Director Robert B. Ward and Institute Senior Policy Analyst Lucy Dadayan wrote in the report. “Expenditures on education and other programs will generally grow more rapidly than gambling revenue over time. Thus, new gambling operations that are intended to pay for normal increases in general state spending may add to, rather than ease, long-term budget imbalances.”

Most individual states reported declines in gambling revenues over the last two years. The few states that reported increases — including Pennsylvania and North Carolina — have recently authorized the opening of new gambling operations.

According to the report, states generate tax revenues from four major types of gambling operations: state lotteries, casinos, racinos and pari-mutuel betting. By far the largest source of state gambling revenues is lottery income — which experienced an overall decline of 2.6 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

The second-largest source is casinos. During the same period, those revenues declined 8.5 percent. The third-largest source for gambling revenues is the newer racinos, or race track-based casinos. Revenues from those operations increased by 6.7 percent, largely because of new racinos opening in Indiana and Pennsylvania.

Pari-mutuel wagering — which generally takes place at horse racing, harness and dog tracks — makes up a small percentage of revenues from gambling, even though it’s the longest established form of legalized gambling in many states. Preliminary figures contained in the new report indicate those revenues fell off by 14.8 percent from July-March 2008 to July-March 2009.

The new report also examined the extent to which states rely on gambling revenues. Overall, gambling revenues make up about 2.3 percent of states’ “own-source” revenues, with the percentage for individual states ranging from as high as 13.6 percent for Nevada and 9.2 percent for West Virginia to less than 0.1 percent in Alabama and Wyoming."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Don't Buy the Champagne

Before drawing any conclusion or celebrating Senator Dorgan's legislation considered the "Carcieri Fix" by some, there's some information offered here --

WASHINGTON – At a hearing in front of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston Jan. 7, 2007, an attorney for the state of Rhode Island made an interesting threat: If the court were to uphold the Interior Department’s decision to take around 32 acres of land into trust for the Narragansett Indian Tribe, state officials would tie up the land in “years and years of litigation,” Joseph S. Larissa Jr. said.

The 1st Circuit ignored the threat, and after seven months of deliberations issued a 4-2 ruling upholding Interior’s decision to take into trust the 32-acre parcel Narragansett had purchased in the late 1990s for housing for its elders.

But Larissa was right about tying up the land.

As a footnote --

If passed into law, the Carcieri fix would also ensure that the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe could take land into trust. Federally acknowledged in 2007, Mashpee has about 150 acres of fee land, but no reservation. The tribe has an application with the Interior Department to take around 680 acres of fee land into trust as an initial reservation, including around 540 acres in Middleborough where the nation hopes to open a casino, and 140 acres in the town of Mashpee.


Where do the Mashpee Wampanoags own land in Middleboro?

That ignores that niggling little Hawaii decision.

And several other significant legal matters like that congressional vote that is opposed by 29 states.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

CT Slot Parlors: Good Neighbors? Think Not!

When I saw TWO WOMEN GET INTO FIGHT IN FOXWOODS LADIES ROOM, I was disappointed that it wasn't the punchline of a joke, but rather 2 women fighting in a Foxwoods Resort Casino restroom.
The blogger's comment?
EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Does either Connecticut casino (Mohegan Sun Casino, Foxwoods Resort Casino, MGM Grand at Foxwoods) need this kind of PR?
For years, both casinos have failed to accept their own social responsibility and ensure that patrons leaving their wildly profitable sovereign territory were sober.
Were either slot parlor a commercial entity, their liquor licenses would have been revoked years ago and the judicial system would have compelled compliance.
MADD has focused on changing the laws and reducing the numbers of intoxicated drivers on Massachusetts roads with which I'm familiar.

CT MADD reports -- In Connecticut 101 people were killed in 2007 in alcohol related crashes, down 12% from the previous year.

It appears that Connecticut's Attorney General may have some impact on changing the business behavior of the slot parlors --

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Monday said tribal casinos are not immune from state laws pertaining to liquor sales.

Blumenthal submitted an amicus brief to the state Appellate Court asking the court to overturn a recent trial court ruling that exempted tribal casinos from certain liquor laws.

Blumenthal filed the brief in support of Emily Vanstaen-Holland and her mother, Susan Holland, who are suing the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and others in connection with an accident in which Emily Vanstaen-Holland, a pedestrian, was struck by someone allegedly intoxicated after drinking at Mohegan Sun.

Sometimes, financial liability is the only thing that makes a good neighbor.

Too bad the blogger isn't worried about these folks and the others killed after feeding the slots --

In March, a 23-year-old Navy sailor, who later reportedly told police that he had four or five drinks over the course of the evening at a Mohegan Sun club, struck a van carrying seven students headed to Boston's Logan Airport.
Elizabeth Durante, one of the traveling students, died at the scene. Less than a month later, a local construction worker, who had been drinking at the same bar, struck and killed a 59-year-old Willimantic woman.

When you make your money from predatory gambling, you're worried about bad pr?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

American Casino

We were all pretty outraged by predatory lending practices that caused the housing meltdown. Jonathan Kim reviews the film about the casino gambling of the banking industry.

ReThink Review: American Casino -- Gambling on Timebomb Loans

Said Kim --
One thing that struck me while watching American Casino was the official-sounding terms for the tactics used to create this mess. When you hear terms that sound very technical ..., it's easy for part of your brain to shut off, especially if you already feel that you don't/can't/won't understand housing or finance. I was guilty of this myself.

This doesn't seem much different from promoting predatory gambling in the Commonwealth that deliberately targets those least able to afford the costs, constructed on a foundation of addiction.
A cost benefit analysis seems appropriate.

Gambling Tax Revenues Overestimated

Standard industry practice is to overstate revenue projections, as Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling explained --
Gambling Tax Revenues Overestimated

Cannery Casino’s tax revenue projections of $168 million per year are significantly overstated. As in most other casino states, the revenue shortfall will become a trap, forcing the legislature to allow more machines at more locations to meet revenue targets.

The projections assume Net Machine Revenues of $307 per slot per day, about the rate at the Foxwoods destination casino, far above the $231 at the three Delaware racinos, and far above most other racino states.

Our state Attorney General, the New Hampshire Chiefs of Police and the New Hampshire Sheriffs Association all vigorously oppose legalized casinos because of their direct experience with casino crime. A 2007 member survey among the Chiefs disclosed overwhelming opposition.

Check out more Myths.

We Can Always Build More Casinos, Right?

Nate Silver had an interesting article in Esquire worth reading in its entirety --

Gaming revenues received by local casinos [in Las Vegas]were down 12 percent in 2008 as compared with a year earlier. (This figure and all others in this article are reported on an inflation-adjusted basis.) And 2009 will be even worse: So far, revenues are off almost 15 percent from 2008's already depressed figures. The recession, then, appears set to cost Las Vegas more than a quarter of its business.

...desperate state governments looking to casinos to bail them out of their budget nightmares are likely to be disappointed.

Gambling revenues peaked in 2002 in Illinois, in 2000 in Mississippi, and in 2006 in Detroit, which had only begun to permit gambling ten years earlier.

What we've witnessed, indeed, is something of a race to the bottom.

The sort of customers these lower-end casinos attract, moreover, may be exactly the sort who shouldn't be spending their money on gambling. A 2005 study by the Federal Reserve found a statistically significant relationship between proximity to casinos in Mississippi and bankruptcy rates in the region, which includes impoverished states like Alabama and Tennessee.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Top 10 Best Practices in the Predatory Gambling Trade

This is a must read from BMG --

The Top 10 Best Practices in the Predatory Gambling Trade
by: StopPredatoryGambling

Today, a "Best Practices in the Gambling Industry" conference sponsored by the casino trade was held at Suffolk Downs. To help those who could not attend, here are the trade's Top 10 "Best Practices":

1) Base your business model on 90% of the gambling profits coming from 10% of the people who use the product, which makes nine out of every ten patrons virtually irrelevant to your revenues.

2) Design slot machines to "approach every player as a potential addict" by making them operate like "loaded dice", all in the name of getting the user "to play to extinction" - until all their money is gone. This recent Washington Post op-ed by a respected MIT professor explains it all.

3) Always make the political argument be about jobs, revenues and "inevitability" instead of the business model, the product and the marketing behind it. Which is why you won't find even one picture of a slot machine on our website.
StopPredatoryGambling :: The Top 10 Best Practices in the Predatory Gambling Trade

4) Create the public impression we are concerned about problem gamblers with a disciplined communications strategy (like "best practices" events such as this one). But in reality, aggressively defeat all efforts to meaningfully address the issue like how we roadblocked a bill in PA requiring casinos to mail monthly loss statements to frequent gamblers and how we funded a $15 million campaign in Missouri to repeal the state's $500-in-two-hours loss limit law.

5) Intensively fund the public health research like the tobacco companies did to minimize public outcry about our business model, our product and our marketing. Here are two stories, one by Bloomberg News and the other by The Boston Globe, that describe how we do it.

6) Use state-of-the art consumer loyalty technology as a critical marketing tool to closely monitor a person's wagering and the speed they gamble. The faster a person gambles, the more they lose. When you add in how much they wager each time, we develop a revenue model for each person we call "their predicted lifetime value."

How good is our marketing? Companies like Harrah's can trace more than 75 percent of its gambling revenue back to specific customers and with such state-of-the-art technology, we are vulnerable to the charge that we know who most of the out-of-control gamblers are that make up nearly all of our revenue.

But because our business model relies on 90% of its gambling profits coming from 10% of the people who use the product, we need out-of-control gamblers to survive. The consumer cards are how we identify who has the potential to reach the out-of-control category and then we aggressively market to them using free slot play, free food and lodging, telephone solicitations, direct mail and other marketing techniques to stimulate these people to reach their "potential."

7) Outsource the ownership and management of the ATM machines inside your casino and then buy from the vendor the list of the people who take money out of them. These gamblers are highly valuable because they are the ones most likely to lose control of their spending - they lost the money they arrived with at the casino and then needed to withdraw more of their savings to chase the money they lost earlier. If they did it once, they are likely to do it again. And again. And again.

8) Give as much money upfront to government as you can because our business model only works if our government denies the core democratic principle of equal citizenship to other Americans and traps people in debt. We already know 90% of our profits comes from 10% of the people we target - addicted and heavily indebted people. By definition, someone who is an addict or someone who is in deep financial debt is not free.

In a country where everyone is considered equal, where all blood is royal, the state is actively promoting a product that renders some of our fellow citizens as expendable. There is no good answer for this truth so simply go back on message with the jobs, revenues and "inevitability" argument.

9) Whatever you do, don't actually use the product yourself. It's a fact that most of us who own and promote casinos don't use the product, like casino exec Steve Wynn, Harrah's CEO Gary Loveman or Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill, to name a few.

10) Casino capitalism is very, very lucrative - for a handful of people like us.
These "best practices" belong at the center of every discussion about predatory gambling in the weeks and months ahead.

Les Bernal

For those who take the time to research the statistics, this comment was of particular interest --

Hold a public hearing just on the business model, the product and the marketing practices

There are a total of thirteen hyperlinks in the post referencing each "Best Practice." Not sure how that doesn't far surpass "some documentation."

I have written up the quote for BMG before, coincidentally five months ago today, but am happy to do it as many times as it takes until the predatory gambling trade explains their business model as well as how electronic gambling machines work and their marketing practices:

The 90%/10% reference can be found in Wall Street Journal reporter Christina Binkley's book Winner Takes All on Pg. 184. The exact text reads as follows:

Harrah's propeller heads discovered that 90% of
Harrah's profits come from about 10% of its most
avid customers.

The business model, the product and the marketing practices of the predatory gambling trade deserve intense and thorough public scrutiny. And to date, there has been virtually none of it.
Les Bernal

Most of us knew predatory gambling was wrong when the prospect of a Middleboro Mega Casino was forced on us with no discussion.

The more one reads, the more one realizes our initial reactions were right.

This isn't sound public policy. This isn't economic development.

Monday Morning Quarterbacks

Watch this video -- Monday Morning Quarterbacks

FOX25, myfoxboston - Monday Morning Quarterbacks Scott Harshbarger and Joe Malone recently joined the FOX25 Morning News from our Beacon Hill studio to talk about the latest political news.

Of predatory gambling as fiscal policy --

"bad economic development"

"...the next Big Dig..."

"...Stimulus package for owners of casinos, race tracks that can't survive, the owners will make money... the lobbyists will absolutely have a stimulus...."

"Not good long term economic development."

Check out the abundance of information on the great new site -- United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts

Sunday, September 20, 2009

First Amendment and Casino Proponents

When casino investors targeted the cash strapped Town of Middleboro and purchased property that was selected in private meetings by now retired Town Manager Jack Healey and Stephen Graham as they pored over Assessors' Maps, at a poorly advertised auction, town residents attempted to speak out at public meetings.
Marsha Brunelle, Chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen gaveled town residents to silence and prevented questions, silenced the process and imposed her own version of tyranny.
Another town has taken that inappropriate conduct one step further --
Rules ban on comments on gambling's 'social ills' violated First Amendment
A federal judge has ruled that town officials holding a public meeting
to talk about a massive casino project proposed for their area cannot ban statements about the "social ills" of gambling if they allow discussion of the industry's benefits.
...officials in the city of Mulvane violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ...
Lawyers say local officials simply ordered opponents silenced by police
"The government has no right to harass and threaten citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights in public. Nevertheless, citizens who wished to express their legitimate concerns about the impact of the new casino have been threatened, silenced, and in one case, even removed from a government hearing on this important issue," said Oster.
Proponents of predatory gambling only succeed when they can silence the facts and prevent transparent public discussions. That's why we need an impartial commission to examine the costs and impacts of gambling on the Commonwealth.
Something like this --
Comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of slot parlors and mega-casinos.
The legislature will perform a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis and develop data-driven budgets by region that account for fiscal revenues and both operating and capital investment expenses. Benefits/revenues will result from income and property taxes, license fees, job creation, reduction of welfare rolls, and ancillary economic development for regional businesses. Costs/expenses will result from capital investment projects, infrastructure expansion and maintenance thereof; mitigation compensation to affected regional communities for issues defined in the paragraphs below; and state and regional oversight and administration expenses.
The cost-benefit analysis will address but not be limited to costs such as the expansion of the Attorney General’s office for regulation, enforcement, investigation, prosecution, auditing; Gaming Commission personnel, equipment, operating budget, software and all consultants; gambling addiction services; state and local police and overtime; domestic violence advocates at district courts serving the regions impacted by proposed expanded gambling; expanded prison and corrections services; financial counseling; subsidized health care costs for transient workers and workers not covered by proposed expanded gambling health insurance.

It's All The Same

The arguments for predatory gambling are the same regardless of the state:

The state is busted, and politicians were loath to raise taxes or cut spending, lest they anger voters and find themselves out of work in a recession. So the legislators and governor dragged the budget battle out for months - more days, more per diems - then claimed that the crisis had forced their hand on gaming.

Really, what are politicians to do? Might as well snuggle up to the one sugar daddy promising fast, free cash with few strings attached.

They've done it before. Sure, it felt dirty. But you get used to that.

(Eventually, other research showed that the typical slots player had to lose $750 a year to provide $330 in tax relief.)

Don't be surprised when politicians insist that the only way they could help the old folks and kids and provide tax relief was to expand gambling. Listen closely. Those are your chosen leaders claiming they simply had no other choice.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Just A Few More ....

Of all the labels that apply to Jackie Borovetz — wife, mother, grandmother, professional — gambling addict might be the last to come to mind.

But the life of this deputy at the Muskogee County Court Clerk's office, a daughter of a Baptist deacon, began crumbling several years ago as Native American casinos began proliferating across Oklahoma.

"I started gambling when they first brought them into Muskogee," she said in a telephone interview from FMC Carswell, a prison in Fort Worth, Texas, where she is serving time for taking nearly $600,000 from the clerk's office. "What happened the first time I ever took money from the court, I had gambled my whole paycheck and I had no money.

"I had no clue how much money I'd taken. I was as shocked as anyone else."

Borovetz is one of a number of state, local and business officials who have been accused of stealing money to pay gambling debts. Experts have reported seeing an increase in the number of residents who are struggling with the problem.

_Roger Q. Melson, former director of audits for the Commissioners of the Land Office, was named in a 174-count indictment in June that accused him of taking more than $1.16 million in royalty payments to the office. His attorney has said Melson has a gambling problem.
_Danny Rennels, the former executive secretary for a private association that regulates high school sports in Oklahoma, was charged Monday with embezzling $457,500 from the organization. Prosecutors said Rennels indicated he gambled the money away.

_Former State Rep. Mike Mass was sentenced last May to two years in prison for his role in a kickback scheme prosecutors said was fueled by his gambling addiction.

Read the rest ....

The more I read of these stories, the more I wonder if we would promote a drug or a child's toy if it injured 5% of the users.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Racinos Create Low Paying Jobs

Ball State University conducted a study of racinos that's worth reading in its entirety [emphasis mine] --

Study: Racinos create mostly low-paying jobs while depressing area incomes

While more states are tapping into the growing popularity of racinos as a means to augment budgets or create college scholarship programs, such facilities add lower paying jobs that depress local salaries, says a new study from Ball State University.

A study of West Virginian racinos — horse and dog racing facilities that added casino games — during 1978-2004 found that counties with such operations realized a one-time 1.1 percent increase in employment while the average salary in that area fell by as much as 2.9 percent due to the addition of a large number of low-paying jobs.

The study, which is featured in the current issue of "The Journal of Economics," also found the average annual salary of a racino employee is less than $14,000. This was near minimum wage at the time of the study.

"Racinos have recently encountered considerable scrutiny from policy makers," said the study's author Michael Hicks, director of Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), a division of the Miller College of Business. "There is enthusiasm for the immediate growth of jobs when gaming is added to a track. The drawback is that the average salary in that area actually falls because such new jobs require little or no formal training, and workers are easily replaceable. These new jobs pay little to nothing."

Racinos have emerged as a new focus of mixed venue gaming facilities in six states while there are efforts to permit this type of facility in at least six additional states. In some cases, the casino games are limited to slot machines or video lottery terminals (VLTs) only. Many locations are also beginning to include table games such as blackjack, poker and roulette.

Hicks points out opponents of gaming argue that access to racing and casino gaming mixes some of the more damaging forms of gambling, while proponents point to studies showing that mixed tourism venues generate the greatest regional impact.

His study found that West Virginia has four racinos with each located near larger out-of-state metro areas or near multistate borders. The racinos bring in $880 million of annual revenues — mostly from out-of-state visitors — while employing 4,400 workers and annually generating $327 million in business taxes. West Virginia ranks fourth in the share of total general revenue funds contributed by gaming.

Like many states, West Virginia finances a variety of services from taxing gaming facilities, including computers in K-12 school classrooms, college scholarships, economic development bonds and programs for senior citizens.

"The widespread attachment of gaming revenues to services in many states was designed to lessen opposition to gambling activities," Hicks said. "However, the study clearly shows that policy makers in all states should consider the policy initiatives when considering adding gaming to racing tracks. In other words, what are the costs of adding more low-paying jobs while propping up the state budget or funding other programs?"
By Marc Ransford, Media Relations Manager

Unemployment: If Slot Machines Were a Solution ....

If slot machines were a solution, why is California unemployment: 12.2 percent ???

New Hampshire, with NO gambling, that recently appointed a Blue Ribbon Commission to examine issues surrounding gambling, reports a rate of 6.9%.

Utah, with no gambling, has an unemployment rate of 6.0%.

Rhode Island with 2 slot parlors has an unemployment rate of 12.8%.

Nevada, gambling capital of the world until recently, has an unemployment rate of 13.2%.

Michigan has an unemployment rate of 15.2%, a businessman testified before Congress that Michigan streets should be paved with gold were casinos a solution. This is NOT the auto industry, folks!

Massachusetts reported an unemployment rate of 9.1%.

Hawaii, with no gambling, has an unemployment rate of 7.2%.

Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary provides some thorough information that seems to disprove the infallibility of casinos as job creators.

Before we embrace the theory of gambling as job creator, maybe we need to follow New Hampshire's lead and appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mission Creep and Poor Timmy!

In March 2009 --
Cahill proposed licensing three slot machine parlors, including one in southeastern Massachusetts, as a way to raise quick revenue for the financially-impaired state. They might not be located at existing tracks, under his proposal.
...Cahill estimated Massachusetts
could generate $2 billion to $3 billion in up-front licensing fees from slot parlors,
plus up to $250 million annually in tax revenues.
Timmy's figures so were extremely flawed that perennial casino cheerleader and gambling industry lackey, Clyde Barrow said:
Cahill’s plan overestimates the amount of money that could be earned through up-front licensing fees....
When that article appeared, along with several others that GROSSLY overstated revenues and ignored expenses and impacts, I emailed State Treasurer Cahill's Office and this is the response --
Thank you for your correspondence regarding Treasurer Cahill’s
proposal to introduce Video Lottery Terminals in the Commonwealth. The
Treasury welcomes your feedback and appreciates your shared desire to
enhance the Massachusetts economy.
Under the proposal, the state would enter into a Public-Private
Partnership that would lease the right to operate VLTs to the highest
qualified bidder for a span of 15 to 20 years. The leasing of these
operating rights could bring in between $2 billion and $3.3 billion in
up-front payments, as well up to $244 million annually by collecting a
27 percent tax on revenue. Further, we are looking to capture a revenue
stream currently leaving the state, and this plan would allow money
currently being spent in Connecticut or Rhode Island to remain in
Given the ongoing economic crisis that our state and nation are faced
with, the Treasurer is convinced it is a necessary strategy that will
provide a vital revenue source for our state and will help our taxpayers
keep money in their pockets. Again, thanks for your correspondence and
your desire to help make Massachusetts stronger for our fellow
Gregory Gatsogiannis
cc. Scott Campbell
The email can't be dismissed as a staff member speaking out of turn because Timmy was quoted in the Boston Globe during a luncheon forum at Locke Ober as saying: selling slot parlor licenses could immediately raise as much as $3.3 billion.
Speaking at a business forum yesterday at the Seaport Hotel, Timmy said:
State Treasurer Timothy Cahill reaffirmed his support for bringing slot machines to the state’s racetracks, despite dwindling revenues at Connecticut’s Indian casinos.
In response to a question about expanded gambling, Cahill said the Legislature should approve
slots at racetracks at Suffolk Downs, Wonderland Greyhound Park and Raynham Park,
where they could later be expanded to full-scale casinos.

Now, Timmy, Dear, Let me point out that you're the first politician honest enough to tell folks that the future plan is to expand those race tracks to full fledged casinos.

That's a No! No!

Timmy, It's supposed to be part of the "Mission Creep" of Predatory Gambling. You need to pretend that a few slot machines, like, oh! maybe 1500 or so will do to save those jobs.


And then, when you find out that the gambling revenues don't cover the costs, you beg for more slots on the same pretext -- more revenue, more jobs, blah! blah! blah!

You know the routine!

You simply can't tell people that those few measley slot machines placed in numerous locations are going to become casinos everywhere!

And Timmy, maybe it was just an oversight, and I really hate to mention it, but you seemed to have forgotten Plainridge on your list. Now, Plainridge was losing money when it was sold and only purchased with the promise of Casino Gold in the future. How could you forget?

You did good just commenting about "declining revenues" and not mentioning that Foxwoods is imploding or those other bankruptcies.

Now, Timmy, I really hate to mention this also, but here's what the story said:
Cahill, who is running for governor as an independent, also said when and if casinos come to the Bay State, the Massachusetts State Lottery should be privatized as a way to get an infusion of quick cash into the state’s coffers.
“We should consider privatizing the lottery to even the playing field,” Cahill said at a business forum yesterday at the Seaport Hotel. “It would be hard for the lottery to compete against the private gambling industry that has more bells and whistles.

“If we expand gambling, we can’t just leave the lottery as the poor step child, because revenues could fall because everyone wants to do the new thing.”



You may be cute, but you need to stop inserting your foot in your mouth when you speak! You can't privatize the lottery!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Exaggerated Promises

West Virginia: What Experience Shows

Study finds racino projects create low-paying jobs

As a slots license selection commission evaluates bids for gambling licenses in Maryland, a new study has found that facilities that provide both racing and casino activities create low-paying jobs that depress salaries in surrounding areas.

The study by Ball State University examined West Virginia's so-called racinos – horse or dog racing facilities with casino games – during a 26-year period and found that counties with such gambling operations saw a one-time employment gain of 1.1 percent, while the average salary in the area fell by as much as 2.9 percent because of a large number of low-paying jobs.

Ohio: Ya Think?


Facing "Issue 3" in Ohio --

“I think with this happening it might draw some more people down there. And then it obviously would negatively affect us in overall sales throughout the year,“ said Joe Sauvie, general manager of Ted’s Montana Grill.

Sauvie’s restaurant sits less than a half-mile away from the proposed casino site on Nationwide Boulevard. He says the casino would promote its own retail and restaurants, keeping customers inside, instead of exploring the Arena District, and he is worried the casino could discount food prices by making up for it with gambling profits.

“If people are going to go over there and go gamble and know they’re going to get comped food or comped drinks, then that might hurt us I believe,“ Sauvie said.

Bob Tennenbaum, spokesperson for the Ohio Jobs and Growth Committee, clearly hasn't done his homework or read about the experiences of other small businesses around the country.

...Astleford [CEO and President of Experience Columbus, the tourism and marketing office promoting central Ohio] also cautioned against the impact the casino could have on discretionary spending. “What’s that going to do to restaurant sales? What’s that going to do to arts and entertainment?“

Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady said he is worried that the casino could negatively influence the family-friendly environment at Huntington Park, which the county owns.

Job Creation: Minimum Wage Jobs?
Low Paying Jobs With "Racinos" or The Mad Hatter's Tea Party
.... a new study has found that facilities that provide both racing and casino activities create low-paying jobs that depress salaries in surrounding areas.

the average salary of racino employee is less than $14,000 annually.

The Maryland equivalent of Clyde Barrows, James Karmel, an associate professor of history at Harford Community College and a consultant for the Maryland Gaming Association goes on to say ---
For instance, a recent report examining expanded gaming in Massachusetts, whose income and other economic indicators Karmel says are more comparable to Maryland than West Virginia, found that the average salary for employees is $35,000..

If expanded gambling doesn't currently exist in Massachusetts, how valid is the AVERAGE SALARY?

Before falling prey to a predatory industry that will suck discretionary dollars from the local economy, destory local businesses, increase crime, child abuse, gambling addiction, there's some solid information available USS-Mass.

Louisiana casinos report revenue drop

Louisiana casinos ... Revenue figures for August ... had a drop of ten percent.

Competition is also becoming a major problem for Louisiana casinos.

"Louisiana casinos are having the same problem as Atlantic City and Las Vegas when it comes to dealing with competition," ....

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Economic benefits of gambling limited, U.S. expert claims --

... Kelly [executive director of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, a congressional and presidential commission] said the legislature would not be able to understand the comprehensive impact of gambling without conducting a cost-benefit analysis.

The economic benefits of the gambling industry are less than some people might expect, while its negative effects, such as increasing crime and social unrest, are quite obvious,

...visitors might gamble with money they would otherwise spend in some other way, and therefore will not stimulate economic growth.

...the gambling industry might not create as much income and as many jobs as its supporters have estimated...

...gambling will give rise to gambling addiction, leading to higher crime rates, broken families and organized crime...

It will also provide gangsters with opportunities to run casinos, get politicians into their pockets, bribe officials and rig elections...

Kelly's commission is known for a 1999 recommendation for a national moratorium on gambling expansion...

Of Indian Casinos ...

Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission lecturing at UND --

Newer regulations that came out more than a year ago, [Hogen] said, require that the off-reservation casino also be within driving distance of the reservation proper, which crippled efforts by more remote reservations.

Hogen [chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission] said, he doesn’t believe the distance requirement will necessarily stay the same under the new administration.

Slot machines, roulette wheels and other “casino-style” gambling are regulated as Class 3 games.

If Massachusetts legalizes Class 3 gaming, what happens to the Tribes?

Declining CT casino revenues

CT casino revenues continue to decline --

Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods reported... in August.... a decrease of 13.3 percent. Mohegan Sun ... a decline of 11 percent.

Atlantic City’s 11 gaming halls reported a 14.6 percent decrease in slot winnings compared to August 2008.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Conroy to host gaming forum

Sudbury -

Rep. Tom Conroy, state representative for Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland, invites area residents to join him for a public forum on expanded gaming in Massachusetts on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School Auditorium.

The forum will include a presentation on current research on potential gaming in the state, such as resort-style casinos, slot machine parlors, racinos, etc. This will be followed by a discussion of the potential benefits and costs of each type of gaming, including the number of jobs that may or may not be created in the Commonwealth, the estimated amount of revenue the state could expect, the cannibalization affect on lottery revenues for towns and cities, and the estimated social costs.

The forum is intended to be interactive, so that questions and answers are part of the discussion throughout the evening. Constituents can forward questions to Conroy before the event at

For more information, call 617-722-2460 or e-mail

Fools' Venture

DeLeo and fellow Revere legislator Kathi-Anne Reinstein have supported since 2003 installing slot machines at Wonderland Greyhound Park and Suffolk Downs.

Are Massachusetts taxpayers asking what this proposal will add to long term costs for the short-term gains?
What infrastructure improvements will Massachusetts taxpayers bond for this Folly?

Will we need 1500 NEW state employees to oversee this Fools' Venture?

Expanded gambling could be debated by legislators as early as this fall with the aim of capturing some of the $900 million that Massachusetts residents spend in Connecticut resort casinos each year.

Does anyone wonder where that figure came from? This is how rumors get started. Was it the perennial casino cheerleader who is paid by gambling interests to count license plates? Using his own methods, his figures seemed flawed with the decline in revenues from the CT casinos.

The Beat Goes On: Another Bankruptcy

AP reported --

WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved the sale of two of Magna Entertainment Corp.'s horse racing tracks — Thistledown in Ohio and Remington Park in Oklahoma City — for a combined total of almost $170 million.

Judge Mary Walrath approved ....[a] bid of $89.5 million for the Thistledown track near Cleveland from Harrah's Operating Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nevada-based casino giant Harrah's Entertainment Inc.

Harrah's offered $42 million in cash at closing and contingent payments of $47.5 million.
(Is this what a license is worth on the open market for a race track?)

The contingent payments hinge upon successful resolution of various legal challenges to Ohio's plan to install slot machines at the state's seven horse tracks.

Walrath approved the sale of Remington Park for $80.25 million to Global Gaming Solutions RP LLC, a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation that plans to continue casino and racing operations at the track.

Its [Magna's] holdings also include Gulfstream Park in Florida, Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, and Baltimore's Pimlico racetrack — host of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ballot Question 3 - Senate Districts

The conundrum of Ballot Question 3 continues below in the list of State Senate Districts which supported the elimination of greyhound racing.

What did the vote mean? Maybe a statewide referendum on predatory gambling makes sense.

Steven Baddour 53% First Essex

Frederick Berry 50% (versus 47% NO) Second Essex

Stephen Brewer 55% Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire & Franklin

Scott Brown 55% Norfolk, Bristol & Middlesex

Stephen Buoniconti 64% Hampden

Gale Candaras 66% First Hampden & Hampshire

Harriette Chandler 55% First Worcester

Sonia Chang-Diaz 56% Second Suffolk

Cynthia Stone Creem 64% First Middlesex & Norfolk

Kenneth Donnelly 55% Fourth Middlesex

Benjamin Downing 70% Berkshire, Hampshire & Franklin

James Eldridge 58% Middlesex & Worcester

Susan Fargo 60% Third Middlesex

Jennifer Flanagan 53% Worcester & Middlesex

Anthony Galluccio 54% Middlesex, Suffolk & Essex

Patricia Jehlen 57% Second Middlesex

Michael Knapik 67% Second Hampden & Hampshire

Michael Moore 54% Second Worcester

Richard Moore 53% Worcester & Norfolk

Therese Murray 53% Plymouth & Barnstable

(Senate President, known for her Cha Ching Gesture. Hmmm...
The only "Cha Ching" I hear is taxpayers subsidizing wealthy, out of state investors.)

Robert O'Leary 65% Cape & Islands

Steven Panagiotakos 53% First Middlesex

Anthony Petruccelli 52% First Suffolk & Middlesex

Stanley Rosenberg 72% Hampshire & Franklin

Karen Spilka 58% Second Middlesex & Norfolk

Bruce Tarr 55% First Essex & Middlesex

Richard Tisei 50% (versus 46% NO) Middlesex & Essex

Steven Tolman 61% Second Suffolk & Middlesex

Susan Tucker 50% Second Essex & Middlesex

Would "WE, the Taxpayers" vote against Greyhound Racing and support creating Slot Parlors at the remaining vacant "tracks"?
If you want to clarify your vote, the phone numbers of your elected officials may be found at this Mass.Gov site. (On the left side, click on House or Senate.)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ballot Question 3 - House Districts

The conundrum of Ballot Question 3!

This is the closest Massachusetts has come to a referendum on gambling.
The Secretary of State's site indicates --
A YES VOTE would prohibit dog races on which betting or wagering occurs, effective January 1, 2010.
A NO VOTE would make no change in the laws governing dog racing.

Immediately after the vote, Senator Pacheco began condemning voters from Wellesley and Newton for determining the future of Raynham and the dog track.
I'm not so sure that's what happened.
It seems voters around the state maybe don't want greyhound racing, don't want race tracks, don't want racinos. Maybe they don't even want slot machines or casinos.
Maybe we should have a vote.
Below are the votes by state rep. district in which voters clearly oppposed greyhound racing.

Geraldo Alicea 53% Sixth Worcester

James Arciero 57% Second Middlesex

Brian Ashe 68% Second Hampden

Cory Atkins 64% Fourteenth Middlesex

Demetrius Atsalis 62% Second Barnstable

Ruth Balser 63% Twelfth Middlesex

Jennifer Benson 51% Thirty-Seventh Middlesex

John Binienda 50% Seventeenth Worcester

Daniel Bosley 65% First Berkshire

Garrett Bradley 53% Third Plymouth

William Brownsberger 61% Twenty-Fourth Middlesex

Jennifer Callahan 52% Eighteenth Worcester

Linda Dean Campbell 51% Fifteenth Essex

Katherine Clark 51% Thirty-Second Middlesex

Cheryl Coakley-Rivera 58% Tenth Hampden

Thomas Conroy 67% Thirteenth Middlesex

Michael Costello 57% First Essex

Sean Curran 64% Eleventh Plymouth

Viriato Manuel deMacedo 50% (48% NO) First Plymouth

Brian Dempsey 52% Third Essex

Salvatore DiMasi 59% Third Suffolk

Stephen DiNatale 52% Third Worcester

Paul Donato 50% (45% NO) Thirty-Fifth Middlesex

Christopher Donelan 56% Second Franklin

Carolyn Dykema 60% Eighth Middlesex

Lori Ehrlich 55% Eighth Essex

Lewis Evangelidis 55% First Worcester

John Fernandes 54% Tenth Worcester

Ann-Margaret Ferrante 58% Fifth Essex

Barry Finegold 54% Seventeenth Essex

John Fresolo 52% Sixteenth Worcester

Paul Frost 52% Seventh Worcester

Sean Garballey 59% Twenty-Third Middlesex

Anne Gobi 53% Fifth Worcester

Thomas Golden, Jr. 52% Sixteenth Middlesex

Mary Grant 53% Sixth Essex

Danielle Gregoire 58% Fourth Middlesex

Denis Guyer 68% Second Berkshire

Robert Hargraves 55% First Middlesex

Lida Harkins 59% Thirteenth Norfolk

Jonathan Hecht 63% Twenty-Ninth Middlesex

Bradford Hill 57% Fourth Essex

Kate Hogan 59% Third Middlesex

Kevin Honan 59% Seventeeth Suffolk

Donald Humason, Jr. 67% Fourth Hampden

Michael Kane 65% Fifth Hampden

Jay Kaufman 59% Fifteenth Middlesex

John Kennan 53% Seventh Essex

Kay Khan 63% Eleventh Middlesex

Peter Kocot 74% First Hampshire

Peter Koutoujian 56% Tenth Middlesex

Paul Kujawski 53% Eighth Worcester

Stephen Kulik 71% First Franklin

Jason Lewis 54% Thirty-First Middlesex

David Linsky 59% Fifth Middlesex

Barbara L'Italien 55% Eighteenth Essex

Timothy Madden 67% Barnstable, Dukes & Nantucket

Elizabeth Malia 52% Eleventh Suffolk

Michael Moran 59% Eighteenth Suffolk

Charles Murphy 54% Twenty-First Middlesex

Harold Naughton, Jr. 56% Twelfth Worcester

James O'Day 54% Fourteenth Worcester

Eugene O'Flaherty 52% Second Suffolk

Matthew Patrick 59% Third Barnstable

Sarah Peake 68% Fourth Barnstable

Vincent Pedone 51% Fifteenth Worcester

Alice Peisch 64% Fourteenth Norfolk

Jeffrey Perry 58% Fifth Barnstable

George Peterson, Jr. 56% Ninth Worcester

Thomas Petrolati 63% Seventh Hampden

William Smitty Pignatelli 73% Fourth Berkshire

Karyn Polito 59% Eleventh Worcester

Denise Provost 63% Twenty-Seventh Middlesex

Angelo Puppolo, Jr. 68% Twelflth Hampden

Robert Rice, Jr. 53% Second Worcester

Pam Richardson 60% Sixth Middlesex

Dennis Rosa 52% Fourth Worcester

Richard Ross 50% (versusu 47%) Ninth Norfolk

Michael Rush 52% Tenth Suffolk

Byron Rushing 60% Ninth Suffolk

Jeffrey Sanchez 62% Fifteenth Suffolk

Rosemary Sandlin 66% Third Hampden

Tom Sannicandro 59% Seventh Middlesex

John Scibak 70% Second Hampshire

Carl Sciortino, Jr. 56% Thirty-Fourth Middlesex

Frank Smizik 67% Fifteenth Norfolk

Todd Smola 60% First Hampden

Robert Spellane 56% Thirteenth Worcester

Christopher Speranzo 71% Third Berkshire

Harriett Stanley 53% Second Essex

Thomas Stanley 57% Ninth Middlesex

Ellen Story 72% Third Hampshire

Benjamin Swan 58% Eleventh Hampden

Timothy Toomey, Jr. 60% Twenty-Sixth Middlesex

David Torrisi 53% Fourteenth Essex

Cleon Turner 62% First Barnstable

James Vallee 53% Tenth Norfolk

Joseph Wagner 66% Eighth Hampden

Martha Walz 65% Eighth Suffolk

James Welch 67% Sixth Hampden

Alice Wolf 68% Twenty-Fifth Middlesex


Of the following, support for banning Greyhound racing prevailed, but not by a majority ---
Antonio Cabral 47% (versus 44% No votes) Thirteenth Bristol

James Dwyer 49% (versus 47% NO) Thirtieth Middlesex

Christopher Fallon 49% (versus 45% NO) Thirty-Third Middlesex

Gloria Fox 48% (versus 38% NO) Seventh Suffolk

Colleen Garry 50% (versus 47% NO) Thirty-Sixth Middlesex

Bradley Jones, Jr. 50% (versus 47% NO) Twentieth Middlesex

William Lantigua 39% (versus 38% NO) Sixteenth Essex

Paul McMurtry 49% (versus 46% NO) Eleventh Norfolk

Kevin Murphy 50% (versus 39% NO) Eighteenth Middlesex

David Nangle 50% (versus 44% NO) Seventeenth Middlesex


Representatives please take note!

Friday, September 11, 2009

USS Mass = United to Stop Slots in Massacchusetts

Check out the new Wow! web site --

United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts

Gambling Forum

Special thanks to the Waltham Democratic City Committee & Third Middlesex Area Democrats for hosting last night's Gambling Forum, to former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger for an exemplary job moderating, and to those Reps. and officials who took the time from their busy schedule to attend, including Rep. Peter Koutoujian and Rep. Tom Conroy.
Important issues were raised and discussed in a much needed debate about the pros and cons of gambling.
Rep. Tom Conroy announced that he will be conducting a similar forum on
September 24, 2009
At the Lincoln-Sudbury High School
in Sudbury
beginning at 7:30 PM
When the issue of expanded gambling arose in the legislature, Rep. Conroy conducted his own research and prepared a 20 page report that considered strictly the economics of the issue. In his comments, he explained that the Attorney General, Martha Coakley had included consideration of enforcement and regulation in her testimony before Senator Spilka's hearing in June 2009.
Investigating the issue, Rep. Conroy discovered that New Jersey has
1500 State Employees
dedicated solely to those issues.
Costs like this need to be factored into consideration.
Eisenhower wrote on Feb. 10, 1959 " a democracy debate is the breath of life.”