Friday, December 6, 2013

The Friday Five - Thoughts on Casinos

Some thoughts on the recent proposals for building a resort-style casino in Massachusetts.

1.  A few towns in Massachusetts have been voting whether or not a casino can be built.  So far, the votes have been no one wants a casino in their town. I don't really get the gambling thing. It holds no attraction for me. I've only been to a casino once in my life. We went to the casino on Paradise Island in the Bahamas on our honeymoon. At the time, I didn't really understand or play any of the games. Himself got me a roll of quarters so I could play the slot machines while he went to play a few hands of Black Jack. It didn't take long for me to lose all my quarters. Twenty-eight years later, it still bothers me I lost two weeks of laundry money.

2. The casino promises to pay the town where the casino is located a sum every year. Why should a budget be based on profits from gambling? Who is ultimately going to pay for increase in services for police, fire, schools, etc.? And doesn't the idea of a casino encourage addictive behaviors like gambling? Who pays in the end? I doubt it will be the casino.

3. The casinos promise there will be jobs for town residents. What kind of jobs? Initially, there will be construction jobs for the couple two or three years until the complex is built. What's left? Low paying jobs as chamber maids? restaurant waitstaff? Won't the corporation bring in their own management?

4. Casino advertisement emphasizes that having the casino in a town will promote local business. Where? Once inside the complex, the casino doesn't want you to leave. There are hotels, shows, restaurants, entertainment. You're not going to leave the complex to buy souvenirs at the local mall.

5. If a casino is built in a predominately residential community, what happens to property values? Will they decrease because no one wants a casino in their backyard?

Just thinking.

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