Casino gambling, long opposed by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, is once again a real possibility in Massachusetts. Both the newly-recognized Wampanoag tribe and the racetrack owners are pressing for the addition of Class 3 gaming, which includes slot machines and table games, into the gaming already allowed under Massachusetts law.Any legislation that expands legalized gambling from the current Class 2 for lottery and bingo gaming to Class 3 for table games and slot machines will certainly bleed lottery revenues and will allow the building of Foxwood and Mohegan Sun-type facilities by Massachusetts.
Although the League’s position opposing casino gambling was adopted a number of years ago (1982), subsequent developments in the casino gambling industry have served to confirm the League’s original concerns about establishing casino gambling in Massachusetts.
- Connecticut, New Jersey, and Rhode Island all have casino gambling and all have higher taxes than Massachusetts. These states pay higher taxes in part because they need to make up for the unmet revenue needs that were promised by the casinos. Every $1 in gambling taxes received costs the state $3.
- Gambling revenues are uncertain, and revenue streams are inconsistent.
- Although a new facility will bring jobs initially in the construction phase, the experience of other places has shown a net loss of jobs overall, as many smaller businesses find that they cannot compete with the casinos. In addition, jobs at the casino are mostly not high paying.
- Casinos bring all sorts of economic and social problems to the community and neighboring communities such as increased traffic, pressure on the local infrastructure (water use, new roads, etc.) increased petty and major crimes, increased gambling addictions and the subsequent social problems that result, such as increased domestic violence and child abuse.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
Visit the League of Women Voters Massachusetts site for more information...