THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
GAMBLING BACK ON THE TABLE?

Casino issue has been vetted; let’s act

June 29, 2011

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WE’RE ENCOURAGED that movement is underway to replace study and discussion on the issue of resort-style casino gaming in Massachusetts with action (“Gambling debated behind closed doors,’’ Metro, June 20). No public policy issue has been so thoroughly vetted. Since 1994, casino legislation has been an almost annual topic of public, media, and legislative scrutiny, with several legislative hearings, many local community meetings, and numerous independent fiscal, economic, and social-impact studies.

Thirty-eight other states already have casino gaming. As we have debated its merits, Massachusetts has continued to export gaming, entertainment, tourism, and hospitality tax revenues and jobs to nearby states.

Our residents have spent an estimated $12 billion at New England casinos and so-called racinos since 1993, providing roughly $4 billion in tax revenues to Connecticut and Rhode Island state governments.

Twenty-seven public opinion surveys in the last five years show that most Massachusetts residents support casino gaming. And, as Governor Patrick himself has said, we have the opportunity to create thousands of jobs in our own state.

Now is the time to make resort-style casino gaming in Massachusetts a reality.

Kimberley Driscoll
Mayor, Salem

Jay Ash
City manager, Chelsea