Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Voice of Experience

I learned a long time ago to avoid the comment sections that follow on-line articles about slots and casinos.

It's always the same.

The great majority of the people who write the comments are obviously uninformed about the product, bereft of empathy for their fellow man, and seemingly clueless that nothing but an endless pot of shiny gold, big fun, and good times lies at the end of an expanded gambling rainbow.

There's really no need for them to learn more about the issue, because they are always right. In fact, most have actually been to a casino, had a very nice time, and came home with no problems to show for it. So there's your proof.

And you can take it from them that anyone who lets themselves get addicted to gambling is clearly an inferior being (unlike themselves) and not worth the tax dollars it would take to treat them.

What's more, they are positively blue with indignation over all that money going to enrich a bunch of lucky out-of-staters who pick our pockets and give us nothing in return but a bunch of the aforementioned lousy gambling addicts who just spoil it for the rest of us.

Chug chug chug goes that economic engine with all it's gazillions of jobs and flashing lights and free drinks and five star restaurants - right across state lines.

Running through these comments is also a generally held belief that gambling (or at least a shorter drive to the nearest gambling establishment) is a constitutional right. Or a birthright, perhaps and that they are being prevented from partaking of it's nurturing mother's milk by a bunch of misguided bible-thumping social workers who wouldn't know a good thing if it hit in the face them with a croupier's stick.

You wouldn't ban alcohol and cigarettes, would you?? Well, dammit, it's the same exact thing.

Needless to say, these comment sections contain a certain amount of name calling.

And then there's the inevitability argument. Always, invariably, inevitable. Because they said so.

Another thing keeping me away from the comment sections are the commentators themselves, who tend to exude a certain, oh I don't know... enthusiasm - reminding me of those howling flesh-eating vampire zombies from "I Am Legend".

But, as much as I do dislike comment sections, I've often found it particularly productive to scan them when the on-line article is from a Connecticut news source. Because it would seem that almost two decades of experience with the worlds' largest casinos can fade even the brightest rainbow.

Case in point, a recent sun-shiny 'push-the-inevitability' article appearing in the Norwich Bulletin titled Mohegan Sun ready to pounce in Massachusetts - complete with obligatory quotes from industry evangelist Clyde Barrow - which is actually remarkable not for it's content, but for it's comments.

(My favorite: the person bemoaning Connecticut's paltry casino 25% tax - obviously unaware that this is slightly higher than the going rate.)

And so, despite a sprinkling of goofball and racist remarks, I found this comment section (reprinted here in full) of value - because it confirms a lot of what predatory gambling opponents have been saying could happen here in Massachusetts - despite what the howling flesh-eating know-it-all vampire zombies may tell you. Take a look.

Good luck MA.. The casinos have done absolutely NOTHING for the Taxpayers of Connecticut. It is just more money for your state legislators to piss away on the foolish schemes to enrich themselves and their special interest cronies. I can guarantee Palmer Mass. residents a huge influx of low income people taxing their social service and police departments as well as their school systems. Without a DOUBT.

As a taxpayer of Connecticut I have not seen 1 CENT of tax relief from my state government. The fact is that Connecticut resident's taxes continue to rise unabated even with an income tax, and the lottery, and casino revenue. We are mired in a world of debt that our great grandchildren will NOT be able to get us out of.

I have been to the casinos and enjoyed myself with a show and a meal but they are not the economic engine that is going to drive your state economy out of the skyrocketing debt that your legislators have gotten you into due to their callous spending ways. In fact they will more than likely cost you more than theyare worth. Road upgrades, more police, money being drained from local economies leading to bussinesses shutting down are only a few of the negatives that come with casinos. Not to mention the fact that some school systems have gone from perhaps 4 languages to -- guessing -- over fifteen that tax payers have to educate. And don't count on state aid from casino revenue being there because in Connecticut the casino revenue goes to the cities and a very small portion goes to host communities.

I am sorry to burst your bubble Mass. but if you think this is going to save your gum flapping legislators from squeezing every nickle they can get out of you then you certainly have another thing coming. GOOD LUCK!

Casinos are a great place to go for entertainment and to spend that extra cash that has been accumulating................ Wait a minute! What extra cash? I must be thinking that it is still 2006 and jobs are good paying and plentiful. I must be thinking that the economy is still going great guns and there is abundance in America. To introduce new casinos into this economy and tout the benefits of jobs without mentioning what has to happen to make this new casino a viable entity for the Native American owners is very one sided. People have to LOSE THEIR MONEY. The patrons who gamble have to lose a lot more than is put back into the economy through the jobs created to build this new casino. A casino takes more money from the economy than it puts back. IT HAS TO.

And then they will cry about their profits when they build a casino in Mass and lose half of their business. Definatly not a swift bunch running this show.

Strange..i could have sworn I had read t the Ct. casinos had been experiencing a slump in revenues and were in debt for their construction activities... I would have thought the market had been saturated, especially in the current economy... Gamblers are naive to think that they can 'win'...no one opens a casino to lose money on the proposition.. I am also reminded of some vehicular accidents intoxicated patrons have caused ... The only winners are the casinos...the taxpayers not!!!

We all know the reason mohegan wants a casino in Mass.to replaces the one in CT>before too much longer radiation levels in uncasville will make the place unhealthy.

Bet big cities like New York & Boston will be happy because more Chinese will move out of their cities,Start hiring teachers NOW!

I bet in Mass they will pay a lot more Tax than they do here! Only CT was dumb enough to sell out for 25% slot only Tax when the going rate is 55% & it includes Table Games. Weicker was a diaster.

Alarming News
Better keep it small, lest you go bust and set your town up for a fall. There can be no denying that Eastern Ct saw a decline when wholesale industries (not just individual Plants) left the area. This resulted in a 'mini-recession' and home values, along with wages, went into the tank. To stimulate employment (which puts workers and their wage demands into the drivers seat) requires the creation of Industries, even new ones. I've preached this for years regarding the need FOR OUR NATION to persue new industry, and that industry - in my opinion - should be the harvesting, refinement and transportation (even export) of our vast God-given energy recources. But enough about that...for now. Here in Eastern Ct , the two Casinos took the place of hose lost industries like Kaman, American Standard and the like. But they both overbuilt. I believe they did so not out of sheer competition, but because they correctly realized that unlike those other idustries, theirs could never 'Pack Up and Split.' They are confined to their 'Soverign Reservations', so what harm could come by maximizing their size? They also thought that rapid expansion would insulate them from any newcomers, like the Narragansetts, Nipmunks or other tribes seeking -and already at the time engaged in - the long recognition process. But what we saw was, during a good long economic expansion, a rush to cash in on housing development. Home values rose quickly, but as we're now seeing, the glut of housing is now eating away at property values and uncompleted projects are dotting the landscape in addition to the new home construction industry having basically evaporated. This is a National problem, to be sure, but locally we got stung twice by the inclusion of the excess housing capacity being coupled with the low-paying jobs the casino industry provides....during good times. The people of Palmer Mass can't be blamed for wanting to see industry...ANY INDUSTRY come to town. But they would be wise to carefully limit the scope of any such project. If The Mohegan Tribe were smart, they would also see the wisdom of those limitations. They obviously want to grab that business from Maine/Vermont/New Hampshire/Mass patrons that will stop driving south to the The Mohegan Sun. But it would be better to have that Palmer facility packed to the gills during good times (which would also persuade patrons to continue south to Ct) than to have another over-built facility 3/4's emply during bad times. I think we've already seen that movie. We already know how it ends. If the Palmer facility is built (And less 'northern customers' come here), that ending will be re-written in scarier fashion. Like a nightmare that doesn't end.


By having the casinos in CT they just Spend and waste more so good luck and they still can't balance the budget. Good Luck MASS.

Better there than here...

I am so sick of working for a living...I have to get me one of those ct. state job's. Maybe drive around in a truck all day:)

I hope they don't rape the earth by cutting trees and paving over all those pastures, Oh wait it's in the name of money, so thats okay.I was under the impression they were concerned about the environment.

As the others said good luck Mass, you will find them to be great neighbors (lol).

Mohegan has a casino out in Pennsylvania and it seems to be doing well. Expansion is good as long as it brings people. Building in a little town like Palmer,Mass. will help the first few years with employment during construction,but have the casinos realized the drop in revenue they have seen here in CT.It certainly wont improve the future,generally speaking about a decade from now. Our economy is based on what people spend, and nowadays it is not much.

If Palmer Mass residents due their due diligence, they will vote no in any referandom. Just come to SE CT and look around. Drunks are killing people every month leaving the casino. The taxes have only increased in area towns, the CT state budget is a mess, crime has skyrocketed with bank robberies and people ripping off their own companies. Will it create jobs? sure it will, at the expense of every local business. For real folks, take a look at the big picture.


Middleboro Remembers said...

Kudos again, Gladys!

Those comments were particularly impressive coming from residents who know how bad CT has become since their gambling addiction began.

Unfortunately, there are some on Beacon Hill who steadfastly REFUSE to learn from the bad experiences of others of which there are multitudes.

From what I understand, casino Koolaid inhibits rational thought.

Anonymous said...

WHY? For God's sake, for our sake, does the Governor want casino's when right from the people that live in a state, (CT), with casino's have been saying since 07,
that it does not help them financially in any way to live in a state that has casino's.

So, would someone please tell me WHAT the advantages are????????

You can leave out jobs. The few decent paying jobs go to relative's or friends. This is how my brother got hired in Lake Tahoe as a dealer.

Smoking Owl said...

Apparently a lot of our elected officials lack one important quality, ....common sense.

Anonymous said...

There is only one good location for a casino in Massachusetts. A casino in anywhere but Massachusetts. Or anywhere else for that matter.*UCK those sleazy pols.