Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

You read enough casino-related articles and they all start to sound alike.

Take this ho-hum dispatch from the land of inevitability, no doubt intended to stress-out and intimidate the good people of the Palmer region as much as it it to sell papers, entitled:

"Mohegans Seek Niche, Won't Tout Slots: Efforts to launch full-scale casino in western Massachusetts to stress 'non-gaming amenities' like food, entertainment'"

No, what mixes things up for me lately, are the comments following these articles - especially the articles in CT papers.

I suspect it's a little like sitting up at midnight watching the Housewives of New York City reunion episode. Hey, the series was fun - but you can't beat the candid comments that come out at the end.

It's all there - the good, the bad, and the ugly - and you cannot look away. And sure, some of it makes sense - but then, some of it is a lot like trying to have a conversation with Kelly with Bethany in the same room.

And so, I've printed the comments here, pro and anti alike, for your perusal and enjoyment. You can draw your own conclusions, but from what I can tell, if you like concerts and have an empty nuclear waste site just lying around - casinos are the way to go.

Ladies and gentleman, for your submission... postcards from the casino zone. (a.k.a Connecticut)

Posted - 5/18/2009 8:41:55 AM
"destroying what...peaceful beauty we once had" Hmmm, I wonder if the tribes said the same thing when immigrant colonists settled on their lands?

Posted - 5/18/2009 8:24:29 AM
The vice president of development will not showcase his raison d'etre, it's connotation allowing Palmer folks to denote soberly what's in store, so to speak, but the accoutrements buoyed by the gambling, or "gaming" in his words, amenities, indeed, to cajole.
Two Arms -- No Bandit
Pawcatuck, CT

Posted - 5/18/2009 3:08:22 AM
I do not think gambling should be what all states depend on for income. The states already receive taxes from its people now they want our hard earned pay checks. Yes I do think casinos are great because it is some form of entertainment and I am happy to have them here in CT. But the jobs they create are low paying jobs and just barely keeps people off of welfare. If we eventually have a casino in every state it will make it way to easy for to many people to lose there money. Having said that casinos are great for entertainment purposes but to many people think they are going to win and end up losing everything they own. So we do not need casinos all over the place but just enough for the entertainment they bring.

Posted - 5/17/2009 9:21:20 PM
Taxes do not go down.Cost for the towns operation go way up.Thousands of more cars and trucks on the roads.Import most workers from NY.New workers live 10 or more in small homes.Have to hire many teachers for non english speeking workers children at 50,000 a pop.Locals think gambling is fun. Many go bankrupt.Nothing good about a casino for locals.Have you ever seen the slums behind the Atlantic city casinos? There is a reason for that.AlsoWorkers have to put up with 2nd hand smoke.The first 3 homes on the block will sell for tripple the value. The rest can only take what is offered.Local business on road to casino put signs in windows. Don' ask directions, we do not want to be bothered.Town would not put up signs, "not our job". The good news - great conerts..
Montville CT.

Posted - 5/17/2009 4:56:50 PM
To, to John M from Uncasville. Most of the area where the casino is now used to be United Nuclear and closed down I believe in the early ninetys. Its better to have something there that creates jobs than some empty building. To say that it was all woods and chicken coops is not true.
Uncasville, CT

Posted - 5/17/2009 4:54:31 PM
To the person who posted that the Mohegans have disrespected the land, the land that the casino sits on was a nuclear power plant and part of it was also an ash landfill. So, what are you talking about? The "supercenters" you describe were built by someone other than the tribe. That chicken farm you speak about has not been in operation for decades and the coops became run down and eventually collapsed. It is kind of comical that some of you blame the tribes for everything nowadays. While were at it, let us blame them for swine flu, Hurricane Katrina, the war in Iraq and the recession.

Posted - 5/17/2009 4:22:39 PM
John M, I agree with what you said. However, Norwich has always been a rat hole!!!! The streets of Norwich are terrible. The schools are over crowded and the crime rate is way too high. I'll stay here in Groton.
Groton citizen
Groton, CT

Posted - 5/17/2009 2:52:28 PM
We should make the Casino's a proposition,we pay them a percentage of revenue for a short period of time to get them to move the hell out!! All this gambling is just going to bring our local towns beauty and natural prosperity down.There was nothing good about them bringing gaming into our State,,all low paying jobs,more corruption,destroying what we local citizens once had,peaceful beauty we once had.

Used to be beautiful CT

Posted - 5/17/2009 2:16:10 PM
I agree with Mike, the bottom of Mt. Greylock is also close to ski resorts !!Many travel that route through the Mohawk Trails,especially during the fall as my family and I have done for years.That would be perfect and also close to New York Border !!

Posted - 5/17/2009 1:58:16 PM
How is it that they have all this money to build a resort in Mass. but they don't have enough to finish that new casino that is half done?

Posted - 5/17/2009 12:09:05 PM
Norwich has JUST become a rat hole? I grew up in Groton, CT and we ALWAYS thought of Norwich as a rat hole with New London coming in second place to a rat hole!

Posted - 5/17/2009 11:59:33 AM
I suggest Palmer area businesses pay a visit to our area and see how the casinos have benefited area restaurants and entertainment venues. The casino's goal is to keep every dime on site. The numbers being tossed about by those promoting gambling in Massachusetts are plucked from thin air. If one was to build a casino in Western Mass it should be in North Adams at the foot of Mt. Greylock. That is a terribly depressed area, but with wonderful potential. You could build a genuine destination resort there, one were gamblers could spend a week and do a lot more than visit the casino floor.
Michael Casteel
New London, CT 06320

Posted - 5/17/2009 11:59:05 AM
The cancer is growing! Bait and switch, mask yourself with entertainment then slip in the dark exploitive business of gambling.
Groton, CT

Posted - 5/17/2009 11:35:07 AM
John M is so right. I have lived in Uncasville for 34 years and it used to be full of trees, not a stoplight to be seen, no traffic at all, Mohegan Sun was a forrest and chicken farm. It was beautiful country, now I pass Supercenters on my way to work and one mile on Rt. 32 takes 20 minutes. I miss the old country Uncasville was, before the Mohegans saw dollar signs and respected their land.
to John M
Uncasville, Ct

Posted - 5/17/2009 11:07:29 AM
I think it should become a full scale casino with table games. Not all gamblers play slots,although the slots take in alot of revenue.A penny slot machine "some may think they are saving," but in actuality it is costing them if not as much but more than playing 50cent - 1.00 slots.Depends on how many credits and lines they play,but usually it can be just as costly."SO, with me stating this,I believe you well see time down the road the areas becoming dilapidated and run down due to moneys going into slots ,rather than maintaining properties.You should have facilities to draw high rollers into that area rather than penny slots that well only entice the locals if you really cared about bringing in revenue to help the economy.Many from massachusetts already come into Mohegans Sun in Connecticut,arent you afraid that you would lose revenue from Connecticut ? If that happens are you going to be able to employ in Connecticut, or can your employees expect layoffs and more job cuts?


Posted - 5/17/2009 10:57:28 AM
'non-gaming amenities' like food, entertainment" .....and DRUNK DRIVING. Careful what you wish for Palmer, Ma. Build it and they will come.....

Posted - 5/17/2009 10:39:12 AM
John, Norwich IS a rathole, Norwich IS better than it was, by far, and Palmer IS a rathole, therefore an easier sell by the Mohegans.
Norwich, CT

Posted - 5/17/2009 10:34:51 AM
The millions of dollars that they claim will come to the area will be quickly sucked up by all the social needs like bi-lingual teachers, new schools, school expansions, new sewer rates, extra EMTs and police, and higher rents because of an influx of outside workers, not to mention all the crime. Just look at CT's statistics before you decide. And let's not forget all the traffic that doesn't stop at any local place to buy anything. It's off the highway, loose all their money, and back on the highway to limp home on an empty tank, only to leave tons of litter and bottles of pee on the side of our once beautiful roads. There are no winners here except the tribes.
Tired of It

Posted - 5/17/2009 10:31:50 AM
More Indian crap??? We were taken from our land, beaten, raped, forced into slavery, tortured and killed. Should not the "brothers" get a casino. The Indians were just pushed from somwe land. Think about the "brothers" and sisters" out there.
Juan Dolio
New London, Ct.

Posted - 5/17/2009 9:31:41 AM
Sounds like deja vu all over again. When Pennsylvania started slot parlors it was the established Atlantic City casino operators who flocked there along with their customers. Now AC cries over spilled milk everyday because they blew a slot monopoly in the east.
Bendover, NJ

Posted - 5/17/2009 7:35:50 AM
If they have access to a $1.8 Billion line of credit, then why are we stopping the expansion at the current property leaving dozens of contractors and LOCAL construction workers hanging in the wind. I thought you guys were dedicated to Connecticut? You tell all of us you have no money, that BoA pulled your bonding saying you cannot afford to build this casino, but now all of a sudden a few months later you can afford to build one less than an hour away? I think you owe all these SE Connecticut folk an answer, because all I see is jibberish and lies.What are you going to do with those two brand new Cranes? Ship them to palmer and cover them in shrink wrap too?... Maybe you could also take some of that $1.8 Billion and finish construction on your already 50% complete Government center instead of letting it sit atop a hill and rott away. Just my opinion.
Adam P
Norwich, CT

Posted - 5/17/2009 7:23:35 AM
Yup. Hide the real agenda,so if it happens the people of Palmer Mass. wont ever realize it till it's too late. I think everyone from Palmer should drive through Norwich to see what their town might look like someday.I "Bet" they would be real impressed at what a rat hole it has become.


Bellicose Bumpkin said...

Us Middleboro types who are feeling like our crisis is over shouldn't forget Palmer.

The Mohegans have shown very poor judgment in their associations(Troha) and a blatant disregard for public safety(smoking laws?).

I find their current "committment" to the Palmer community to be convenient considering the debacle of the off-reservation Kenosha project in which the Mohegans are partners. This "project" led to federal indictments and does not cast the Mohegans as a group I would personally like to partner with.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Where casino investors go, corruptions just seems to follow...

Thanks for bringing up the Kenosha project. I'd forgotten that, and it's quite timely to something I'm working on.

I also feel very bad for the good folks in the Palmer region. They are going through what we did. "It's a done deal!" "Abandon all hope ye who live here!"


Flower Lady said...

We can never rest until the sod is laid down over the casino's grave and daisies push up through it from the earth. We were caught unaware once. Now we know to be ever vigilant and persistant until the moss starts growing on the "RIP CASINO" headstone.

Gwendolyn said...

I read the article about the Mohegans and gagged on my coffee!

Would they build their "resort" with no slots? Of course not!

Tell me what's the upside again? Oh, yes! Beacon Hill bailout!

An accident forced the closure of the interstate and traffic was diverted through Norwich. Ever wonder what it felt like to drive through a 3rd world country? Drive through Norwich! Casino prosperity in evidence in each cardboard box that the homeless lived in.

Bring it on, Beacon Hill! If you thought your problems were insurmountable before, legalize Class III gaming and you'll look back on this day as Heaven!

Gladys Kravitz said...

Funny, Gwendolyn - I've often heard of Norwich as being an ultimate "success" story from the CT casino chronicles. I guess it depends on your definition of success huh? So much for that robust economic engine.

Glad to hear you're up for the fight! It's heating up - though Beacon Hill wants you to think it's "on hold".

Start writing those letters to your legislators now, everyone. Not a minute to waste.

Catherine Cronin said...

If the Commonwealth were the first to do this, we could claim that there is no evidence that would have prevented our mistake.

One only need to examine the evidence of the devastation caused by expanding gambling and betting the state budget on those revenues.

Anonymous said...

so much of this is what was said in mboro.

Gladys Kravitz said...

But in Middleboro, they sprinkled fairy dust on it, so that makes it OK.

In fact, from what I understand, they're still sprinkling that dust... I've heard the town has purchased some $$ transformers and other items in preparation for the casino (which is never going to come...)

meredith pulson said...

I have read everything you created since the inception or conception of this "Town Fathers Know Better Than You" economic development scheme hatched in some cave (or expensive restaurant paid for by Glenn "The Guest Of A Federal Country Club" Marshel).

Now it appears that Senator Pacheco knows best.

He sure got batted down! For now.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Wouldn't it be nice to see Pacheco go to the mat for once for those members of his constituency who DON'T work at the track.

I'd guess that if you added them all up, they would number only a small fraction of the amount of people and families that could ultimately be devastated by addiction and the other negative effects that slot machines carry in their wake.

It would be so refreshing to see Pacheco and Dave Flynn work to bring in new, productive 21st century economic development to our region instead of spending so much of their time and energy trying to pave the way for regressive, irresponsible industries like dog racing and expanded gambling.

Smoking Owl said...

With companies moving out of state and people losing their jobs, it would be wonderful if our state leaders would concentrate on keeping jobs here in Massachusetts. The folks on Beacon Hill are so excited about bringing casinos here to "create jobs" that they are missing the exodus out of Massachusetts that is happening right under their noses. How many jobs are being lost because companies are finding it unfeasable to continue operations in the Massachusetts economy.

Casinos may create jobs. Temporary construction jobs that go away once the casinos are built, and then low wage, unskilled jobs in the casino.

What is Beacon Hill doing about the people who earned college degrees to improve their quality of life, who are losing their jobs due to their company moving out of state.

Massachusetts attracts some of the brightest people in the world because of our colleges. Why can't we attract businesses to keep those college graduates here in Massachusetts. Casinos and expanded gambling are not the answer for the future of Middleboro nor are they the answer for the future of Massachusetts.

I don't see how casinos make our state attractive to businesses that might relocate here and bring with them REAL quality jobs that provide a reasonable level of income and stability for their employees.

Our state politicians should remove the blinders and read what is happening in other states where it was thought casinos would be the answer to their economic woes. From what I've seen, all gambling has done for those states is bring about more financial difficulties. Massachusetts is in enough of a mess now without adding to our problems. Responsible leaders would make the appropriate budget cuts within their own agencies and departments. That's where the starting point should be.

Middleboro Review said...

Oh, Wise Nocturnal Avian,

I couldn't agree more about the fallacy of casino gambling, racinos and slot parlors!

The biggest loss to the state is not companies moving, but those local businesses that simply shutter their facades, like the small restaurants.

I believe the economic multiplier is 7 times -- for each $1 you spend in a local business, it represent $7 because that local person then goes to the local mechanic, hairdresser or other local business.

Massachusetts, even with the sales tax hike is still among the lowest taxed states in the nation.

What seems important for voters to understand is that even were every state employee eliminated, the budget gap still exists. (The Governor's PowerPoint presentation included that and is posted on my blog, courtesy of Bob Massie.)

Also included, is a pie chart of state spending. The biggest chunk goes to education.

Regarding job creation, the slot parlors proposed by Treasurer Cahill will create very few jobs, but create all of the problems that come with Predatory Gambling.

The same can be said of racinos which will merely preserve dead businesses.

Beyond the issues surrounding Predatory Gambling, the legislation, IMO, is poorly written, shortchanges taxpayers and is a gift to the industry.

Read for yourself:

Budget AmendmentsWhy are we not starting out where Rhode Island is with a 60% tax on slot revenue if this is to be a credible bill? Just a thought!

For supporters who want to rally behind this bogus revenue source, maybe they should do their homework before endorsing it.

What was particularly interesting in Senator Pacheco's comments was that 49 other states are in the same or worse fiscal condition as Massachusetts. Since all but a few of those states has allowed casinos, how can anyone draw the conclusion that Predatory Gambling is a solution?

Middleboro Review said...

It was called to my attention that the racino amendment had been removed.

Here's the text:

Mr. Pacheco moved that the bill be amended by inserting after Section____, the following new Section:-

“SECTION _____. M.G.L. chapter 12 is hereby amended by adding, after section 11L, the following section(s):

SECTION 11M. The Attorney General is hereby authorized and directed to promulgate rules and regulations that allow for the installation of 6,000 gaming devices, also known as slot machines, at any racing facility licensed under Section 3 of Chapter 128A as of January 1, 2009, in Bristol, Suffolk and Norfolk counties, and 300 gaming devices at the International Terminals operated by the Massachusetts Port Authority at Logan International Airport. The regulations will be adopted by January 1, 2010, and will include the following:

1. Each respective host community will have the option via local approval to allow the installation and operation of gaming devices.

2. The tax rate to be paid to the state by slot machine operators will be at least the average and no greater than the highest tax rate that similar operations pay to their respective states throughout the United States.

3. The licensing fee to be paid to the state for a license to operate a slot machine facility will be $25 million.4. All revenues generated from this act shall be added to the Local Aid Fund and distributed to cities and towns pursuant to section 18C of Chapter 58.

5. A gaming authority shall be established to license, regulate, and oversee slot machine licensees at licensed gaming facilities in the commonwealth.”

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where the $25 million fee came from?or how it compares to other states?

Gladys Kravitz said...

Perhaps a little lobbyist whispered it in Pacheco's ear...

Anonymous said...

"2. The tax rate to be paid to the state by slot machine operators will be at least the average and no greater than the highest tax rate that similar operations pay to their respective states throughout the United States."
This gobberish means what exactly? No less than zero but no more than 60% maybe? Gotta do better than this.

Plympton Pat said...

Lobbyist, Gladys? That's about it.

Lakeville Lily said...

Maybe it was a certain track owner who whispered that number?or maybe 2 track owners?Boy, the Senator sure knows how to get a bidding war going, doesn't he?

Anonymous said...

Too funny! Pacheco went to the same negotiatiing school as Jack Healey and Wayne Perkins. Set the bar too low and then wonder why you can't raise it?

Keith Hockstetter said...

It appears that your Senator is selling the rest of the Commonwealth off cheap and has done a great disservice to the rest of the Commonwealth.

This is a great disappointment to promote this kind of legislation with so little opportunity to debate and discuss.

When your Senator is up for re-election, you might be wise to consider your votes carefully.

As always, Gladys, your blog and the comments always provoke thought which is productive. There are issues raised that were not previously introduced that I have researched.

Were the Commonwealth to pass legislation that legalizes slot machines at race tracks and the airport, wouldn't that have the potential of making a Tribal Casino doable? Do you know what the legal potential would be to prevent further expansion? It seems to me it might be like a "Dry State" that doesn't allow alcohol allowing it for some select parties.

Anonymous said...

The Senator seems to have convinced himself that he had greater clout and could cram through his proposal.

Withdrawn to another day!

You lost my vote next election. Are there any opposition candidates left?

Anonymous said...


Casino's bringing in jobs?
In 2007 Forbes printed out the 25 WORST PAYING JOBS IN AMERICA. I went through list, 9 of them are jobs that you find in casino's, 10 if they built their own gas station, which some tribal ones have. A specific one for casino's was "Gaming Dealers" Yup, really good jobs being created by our State!! By the way, the list for 2009, even w/a little more money added, the list stayed the same. Good thinking(?) State of Massachusetts!

Now, bringing in "Revenue"
If the CA, with 54 casino's with a total of 58,000 class III devices, and today this state is projecting a 24 Billion deficit for the rest of this yr and into their fiscal yr. of 2010, tell me how did the casino's help their revenue? Please, tell me.

Now, contruction jobs, yes you will have them, however, don't expect to be paid in a timely manner. After three yrs. the "Unions" finally had to take Foxwoods to court and fight to get the rest of money owed, yes, they had to fight in court what was owed them. Maybe not all are built this way, but the way MA has done business, (The Big Dig), should us union workers take that chance?
Good thinking(?) State of Massachusetts!

Looks like after doing some homework, Casino's are not the solution after all. Pay attention Massachusetts Legislators! Your not doing any thinking or your homework!!

Bellicose Bumpkin said...

Something I've often wondered - and this is virtually impossible to quantify ..

Common "wisdom" is that one of the few good things you could say about a casino is that it brings short term construction jobs. My feeling is that even this is not as much as it appears.

If you build a $1B casino, how many projects will not get built that might otherwise been? The casino will get a hold on some amount of the discretionary dollars. If it wasn't there, what other things might have sprung up to tap the market for those dollars. I'm thinking cinemas, malls, restaurants, expansion/upgrade of existing business, and so on.

While I think that on average, a casino would bring short term construction work, I don't think it's as much as it appears.

Anonymous said...

Why does a state put all their eggs on one basket?? Casino's? When every state that has them has needed "bail out" money?? That alone tells me Casino's are not the answer to money problems, in fact it produces more problems than it pays for.

Yes, incourage more different types of businesses to locate here, and most definately the state should be helping in keeping what we have here going, and growing. Deversify AND Develop.

Don't be busy at the state house working behind closed doors trying to get those slots, get busy trying to produce something this state can be proud of! Good industries, (medical/technology fields), with good paying jobs.

Anonymous said...

California elected Schwarzenegger partly because he proposed new casino deals with expanded slots. He negotiated higher revenues, proposed more slots, etc.

Guess what? There are still licenses that went unsold, machines that were never put in because they saturated the market.

Check out the travel deals you can get to Las Vegas.

betty said...

My work hours have me traveling Route 44 when theirs no traffic,but yesterday, a weekday, I had a docters apointment that put me on the road from Taunten at 5:00.

Anybody who thinks Mboro ever made cents for a casino hasnt seen the trafic.Widening 44 wont do it.

Lillian W. said...

I'm not sure about this but thought that state work had to be done at "prevailing wage" which means that any contracter had to pay what union workers would get.Doesnt that mean all of the road work like 44 that casino investers said they would pay for has to be done at the union rates?