Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Reality Bytes

The Sell-Out: How Massachusetts Plans to Create New Addicts To Pay For Struggling State Programs

Governor Patrick thinks it's entertainment. Unions say it's all about jobs. Racetrack owners insist it's harmless. Some legislators want you to think we have no alternative.

The truth is a darker place.

"As states suffer from the crushing burden of casino capitalism on Wall Street, governors and legislatures are scrambling to make up for the shortfall. Their dangerous solution? Get hundreds of thousands of their own citizens hooked on predatory slot machines."
- Casino Free Mass

Find your legislators here
and tell them we need leaders who'll do the right thing, not suckers who place their bets on a losing proposition.

fund the fight.



Anonymous said...

I have a friend who is 20 years my senior, he has something to say about everything. Some of the time he says something truly intelligent, and I think, wow "you're a sharp guy". Until he has to defend his casino vistits... I'll mention that slot machines are the soldiers of the bullshit brigade, and we'll go back and forth debating this for a while. When he finally loses ammuniton based on entertainment,revenue,etc. He does'nt admit it's all part of a losing game,(except for the investors of course) he says, "I play the table games, I don't play slots, my wife does". Excuses anyone?

Anonymous said...

Dynamite video!
When people leave their children unattended, whether in their cars or wandering the lobbies, you know it's wrong!

Anonymous said...

What seems to be the 'easy money' for legislators is their failure to do their jobs.
There are far too many instances of fraud, waste, corruption and mismanagement in state government.
And because voters don't pay attention, the unions dictate the outcome.
Senator "But For" is a prime example. Never say no to the unions or you'll loose your seat.
It's time to cut the race tracks loose. Let them sink or swim on their own without slots.

Anonymous said...

Exceptionally well done video.
Those who think slots are such a great idea should look to California, about to be bankrupt.

Anonymous said...

When I lived at home, with my parents, a neighbor got hooked.
Wonderful lady! But she lied, cheated, stole, spent ALL of their savings.
She is now almost 80 and HAS TO work.
She had to convince 2 of her unmarried children to move back home to contribute to the household.
Her daughter worked in England for 10 years and she didn't even have enough money to visit.
Why would we let this happen?

Anonymous said...

Last year, I met a widow named Claire who had owned her own home and was independent, active and involved at 87 years old.
She began traveling to Foxwoods through her local Council on Aging. Even though the bus cost $20, she received a coupon for $10 and $15 in Keno coupons and reasoned that she was actually making $5.
It didn't take long before the monthly COA trips weren't enough and Claire began driving to Foxwoods several times each week.
It didn't take long before Claire depleted her retirement savings, maxed her credit cards. So she took out a reverse mortgage on her home.
Finally, when that was gone, in desparation, in the down real estate market, she sold her home and moved to a small single bedroom apartment that she can't afford, as she waits to get into public housing.
That's what playing to extinction means. If Claire doesn't get into public housing soon, she will be homeless at 88 years old.
How could our legislators support this?

Anonymous said...

This is a reminder that there is power in numbers and that we need to support and fund the effort.

Standing alone just doesn't cut it.

We need to speak as one, and be diligent watchdogs.

Again, we have come full circle and need to close off the loop and become whole.

Thanks Gladys for the reminder and for bringing back to the front of our minds, the focus of why we joined together in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Glady's, once again, Bravo !

The video is truly heart wrenching.
I only wish we could do a live feed into every home in Mass., and play continous, 24 hrs. a day at the State House.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Anon. 5:46,

I wish I could take credit. Alas, Gladys Entertainment Inc. works on a shoestring budget...

Ok - no budget...

But I do what I can.

And I agree - this video is amazing and should be seen by everyone who thinks "it's entertainment!". Every one of the compulsive gamblers in this video had families which have been hurt, and employers who've been effected, and trust they've lost...

I hear the argument so much - "no one puts guns to their heads to make them gamble." No, of course not - that would be barbaric. Instead they put technologically advanced, specifically engineered, highly addictive machines in windowless, clockless rooms within reach of ATM machines and where free drinks are readily served, and call it entertainment.

Carl said...

Most pro people don't realize there are families attached to each addicted gambler. 3% of the population may have a gambling problem, but 10 to 15% are directly affected by it and the rest of us 85% in one form or another pick up the pieces through our tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

I can understand if you choose not to post this, but I was really upset when I saw it.
As you are aware, there is a local LSW, a therapist who has been actively supporting the casino for reasons I've never understood, all the time denying or minimizing the impacts and frequency of addiction.
Although I never read his site, a friend sent a post to me that appeared on his site. These are the last 2 sentences:

Since the Mashpee casino, and any other new casino, would be challenged to lure cash strapped customers, it makes sense that they will want to offer something unique.
While Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are scrambling to keep existing customers, no doubt innovating as much as they can, Middleboro's casino can open with a grounds up state of the art and science of "gin mill".

Jacquie said...

Wow, what a powerful video.
We should forward the link of this post to all of those who receive CFO e-mail. This video will definitely re-energize our cause.

You nailed it with this one.

Anonymous said...

Hal Brown has pointed to your blog asking for comments, obviously in reaction to anon 9:10's post:

I would like to answer him here since hie publishes partial IP#s.

Hal, as one blogger pointed out, when you put yourself out there, criticism comes with the territory. It is a perfectly legitimate question to ask why a psychotherapist would be such an avid proponent of a casino in Middleboro, considering that it will only increase the number of gambling addicts in the area. One would assume that those in your profession would be very concerned about the negative social consequences. You need to explain this dichotomy.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:12,
Well put explanation!

This comment seems pretty reprehensible from a professional -
lure cash strapped customers

It would seem to mean that even if you've lost your job, your house has been foreclosed, you've already squandered savings, any 401K and IRAs, let's convince those people with the razzle dazzle glittering lights, bells and whistles that they might win against ALL odds.

Slot machines have been called the Tax on the Poor and the Stupid Person's Tax for good reason.

This local therapist has NEVER successfully treated a client with gambling addiction, nor is it his area of expertise, but the public has the right to expect compassion and a recognition of the threat posed by widespread availability of slot machines on the susceptible when seeking the advice of a practitioner. To minimize or deny a threat clearly revealed in studies not funded by gambling interests shreds his credibility even though he has carefully couched his responses.

Anonymous said...

Anyone wishing to contact the Commonwealth's Board of Licensure to file a complaint against a Licensed Social Worker regarding a question of breach of ethics or unprofessional behaviors can do so through the following:

phone: 617-727-3073

email: erin.e.murphy@state.ma.us

Any complaints must be factual with supporting evidence, ie,copies of internet statements where a therapist identifies himself and publicly endorses casinos while minimizing the negative effects of gambling on individuals. Stating that casinos are OK because people can survive bankruptcy, divorce, etc. as a result of their addictions is not acceptable.

Anonymous said...

anon 6:57,
When the casino was first proposed, one of my first objections was the 'human toll.' I have seen the devastation caused with friends and acquaintances buying lottery tickets they can't afford or traveling to Foxwoods with the COA. It tears my heart to watch the devastation that our legislators are ignoring by balancing the budget on the backs of those least able to afford it.

You were so kind to post that information because I have been troubled by the professional you referred to and will take the appropriate action tomorrow.

That person posted these comments -
...just because an individual has his or her life totally destroyed (whatever that means) doesn't mean the family is totally destroyed.

I have no expertise in gambling or other addiction treatment

I have saved a number of troubling posts that individual made and intend to forward them.

It is truly troubling to me that a professional, in the field of psychotherapy, can minimize the suffering and promote
lure cash strapped customers to his own bizarre ends.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comment by the infamous Internet Avenger aka Vegas Val on Hal Brown last nite on another site last nite:

"Shame on them all - particularly Hal Brown, who I consider to be a disgrace to his profession.

IMO, Brown who once had so much to offer, has behaved like a reckless busybody continually attempting to insert himself into private situations that do not concern him. Brown seems to have become so consumed with the casino issue and his fantasy life as a journalist/photographer that I think he's the one in need of a shrink at this juncture. And the next time Mr. Brown wants to insinuate that others are "racists" - he may want to revisit his own derrogatory and prejudicial commentary that targets people from New York. What's the matter, Hal? Are you prejudiced against New Yorkers?"

Gladys Kravitz said...

Ok, no more Internet Avenger or Vegas Val quotes on this blog, please. Obviously Mr. Brown is the target of "shame" du jour, and anyone else could be tomorrow.

Anonymous said...


You're quite right.
The discussions distract from the tragedy that is gambling addiction.

Our legislators are stroked and groomed to see only the well funded lobbying efforts of gambling interests, while ignoring the toll slot machines cause.

Beacon Hill has failed to act in too many important instances and now seizes on the pot at the end of the rainbow that vanishes as you approach.

We can only hope that they do some sober research in sources not funded by the industry.

Addiction and playing to extinction is the dirty little secret of gaming.

Anonymous said...

anon 5:24,

The Tribal Leader, now felon, launched into his racist accusations when asked about gambling addiction for a well considered reason.

The inflammatory accusation of racism obscured a rational discussion about the industries dirty laundry they'd prefer to conceal.

The machines are designed to addict and convince you with little wins that you'll hit it big.
You'll fund your retirement and your kids' inheritence with the next feeding of the machine.

You only need to look around for the human carnage caused by slot machines because they're all over.

Each and every legislator who denies the reality deserves to be put out of office for their refusal to do their homework.

Anonymous said...

I know you said

1. write your legislators
2. fund the fight
3. join the CasinoFreeMass

What other things can we do?

Gladys Kravitz said...

Don't get discouraged.

Don't believe in 'done deals'.

Talk about this on the train, at work, at parties, with friends, with family. Spread awareness.

Show your outrage.

Sign a petition.

Hold a sign.

Go to meetings.

Demand better.


Chuckie Cheese said...

Truth - Adam Bond was working with Glen Marshall to get him back in charge.

Look at Adam at the BOS meeting on 12/15/08 just hours after it was announced that his buddy Glen was going to plead guilty. It is the only BOS meeting where Adam is quiet the entire night.

Truth - Mimi did talk to Stephen Graham and Adam was present when Mimi was handed the phone to speak to Stephen Graham although there was NO conversation about the Casino or it’s investors.

If this was a violation of ethics then wasn’t Adam also complicit? If the Chairman of the BOS thought there was something wrong then shouldn’t he have mentioned it immediately? Why did he use his blog and wait for his and wait for his final BOS meeting to disclose it? Didn’t he have a sworn duty to disclose any improprieties if it were true? We will talk a little more about the connection between Adam & Stephen in a minute.

Truth - Adam contacted Aaron Tobey.

Adam threw his buddy Glen Marshall under the bus and then went behind the back of the BOS to contact Aaron and other tribal members.

Truth – Stephen Graham was in contact Adam and other residents from Middleboro to arrange a gathering at his house.

Stephen has a party every year for the Dorchester Day Parade that goes well into the night and Adam WAS There! I believe Adam forgot to disclose this to the press and the citizens of Middleboro.

Truth - Picture of Stephen & Adam.

If you walk into Adam’s office you will see a picture of him and Stephen Graham from the Dorchester Day Parade. They have their arms around each other, cigars in their mouths and drinks in their hands.

Now you know the truth.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Dear Chuck,

Interesting. I've had suspicions along similar lines. I've also wondered why Mr. Bond denies knowing Graham because I've seen something which would indicate that they have at least been aware of each other for some time.

The Glenn Marshall angle is not surprising. I've always thought negotiations caved a little too quickly after Mr. Marshall balked at the contract.

At a selectman's meeting Mr. Bond admitted to meeting with Tribe members Tobey and Avant after the Marshall indictment. I was curious about that. Bond + secret meetings = reason to be concerned.

It will be even more interesting to see what comes of this. Perhaps other people will come forward. Thanks for the info!