Berwick Town Hall Meeting on Casinos

Casinos_General.jpgJoin your neighbors in West Roxbury and Roslindale to meet Democratic Candidate for Governor and Progressive Mass Endorsee Don Berwick and hear his positions on Casinos.

Here's what he has to say:

"I am the only 2014 Democratic Gubernatorial candidate to oppose continuing to allow casinos to enter our Commonwealth, and the first to endorse the ballot initiative now proposed to repeal the casino law. I did not take that step lightly.  I am well aware of the dire need in Massachusetts to expand job opportunities throughout the state and of the hope in some quarters that casinos will bring both employment and new revenues to our strapped state budget.  Nonetheless, I believe, the costs are simply too high for this to be the best step for our state.I don’t believe that we should be teaching our children that economic development is best achieved through gambling institutions. Instead, we should invest in helping our communities develop and thrive, making Massachusetts a more attractive place to do business, and training our workers for the high-tech jobs of the 21st century.Here are some of my concerns:

  • The evidence is strong that the casinos will do harm to many small businesses and distort the life of local neighborhoods. Studies have shown that casinos divert funds from local businesses, with an average of one local job lost per slot machine.
  • Casinos will bring into Massachusetts enormous outside corporate forces – some, frankly, with questionable ethics – that have little real commitment to the long-term well-being of our state and communities. 
  • The net new revenues to the state budget will be less than some hope, because there is going to be a tradeoff between casino incomes and the state lottery, which compete for some of the same consumer dollars. Some say that lottery income may fall by as much as 30% or 40% of the casino revenue to the state. 
  • And, as a physician, I know that casinos will bring with them (or uncover) a disease – gambling addiction – that hurts the addict, the family, and the community. At just the time when we are trying to bring our state’s health care costs under control, we will be adding a whole new cost burden for public health, mental health care, and addiction treatment.
"The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has done a superb job to date in trying to assure that casino operators who enter our state are held to the highest conceivable standards.  The Commission deserves our thanks.  If the law is not overturned, then, if elected Governor, I pledge my complete support to such uncompromising diligence.  But the improper behaviors and relationships that the Commission’s hard work has already revealed among some casino applicants is a bright danger signal.  I believe that East Boston, Palmer, and Milford have done well to reject proposals in recent weeks, and I note that both the Governor and the Speaker of the House have said outright that they would not support a casino in their own hometowns.  Nor would I.
"It is time to hit the “hold” button on casinos in Massachusetts. Job growth is urgent, and I will be setting out my own proposals for making sure that our local communities thrive and that people who want work can find work.  In my view, however, casino development is just not the right path forward."
July 07, 2014 at 7pm - 9pm
Doyle's Cafe
3484 Washington St
Boston, MA 02130
United States
Google map and directions
Jim Weliky ·

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