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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Casino a poor fit for Somerset

Letter: Casino a poor fit for Somerset

Posted Feb. 22, 2015 @ 2:01 am

Economists and gaming researchers throughout the country know that casinos are bad economic development and a social curse. The casino industry is imploding because of exponential growth over the past decade prompted by fierce competition among multiple same-state casinos and from rival casinos in nearby states. The community that was promised millions of dollars in tax revenue from casino profits is in worse shape than before a casino came to town.
So what is it that continues to drive city councils and boards of selectmen to believe that a casino would be the saving grace that will boost their revenue-starved budgets to a treasure chest of economic wealth? Could it be the spike in crime that will accompany a casino or devaluation of property in the immediate and not so immediate area? The increase in drunk driving arrests and extra law enforcement and emergency personnel that the community will be responsible to provide? Skyrocketing judicial court costs, gambling addictions that spiral out of control within 10 miles of a casino, divorces, lost time from work, job terminations, small business closings, homelessness, child neglect, suicides? The exploitation of the elderly who the gaming industry shamelessly lures to their casinos offering cheap meals, free bus and van trips, pharmaceutical services that demand no co-payment, escape from depression and loneliness with all the flashing lights and sounds of the slot machines, meanwhile, preying on those same seniors’ social security checks, retirement funds and savings?
A casino in residential Somerset just doesn't fit. It’s bad economic development. It doesn't even begin to approach, on any level, ethical responsibility on the part the selectmen. They should have researched the negative socioeconomic impact of a casino before presenting the proposal to residents as a possible diamond in the rough.
John Tripp

Thank you, Mr. Tripp!

This is a poor fit for Somerset, a poor fit for the Commonwealth!

Predatory Gambling has no positives to offer any community.

The market in the northeast is saturated, revenues are declining with the only hope to create MORE GAMBLING ADDICTS.

Harrah's [now Caesars] determined that 90% of their profits originated from 10% of their patrons. That's GAMBLING ADDICTION! 

The revenues are not from High Rollers, rather from local low income people are you so accurately pointed out. Seniors on Social Security are targeted.

This is a sad commentary on Bad Fiscal Policy!

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