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Tying it all together the Patriots, casinos and home prices

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis February 6, 2012 09:44 AM

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OK, maybe this is a stretch. I'll let you decide.

But will the Pats crushing Super Bowl loss wind up having an impact on the future direction of home prices in Foxborough and in neighboring bedroom communities like Norfolk, Walpole and Wrentham?

A Super Bowl win would have arguably bolstered Las Vegas tycoon Steve Wynn's drive to build a mega casino on what are now parking lots owned by Robert Kraft across from Gillette Stadium.

But as Wynn prepares to make another offer to so far recalcitrant Foxboro officials, he will have to do so without being able to wrap himself in Patriots glory, even if only through association with Kraft.

So what does that have to do with home prices in Foxboro, Norfolk and Wrentham? Well, potentially a lot if the Super Bowl loss tips the scales against Wynn's big Foxborough casino.

Casino supporters and foes argue endlessly over the impact giant gambling palaces have on local communities. There have been innumerable studies on everything from crime to how small businesses fare after a gambling hall opens up down the street.

Casino supporters, in fact, can even point to a few studies that seem to show an increase in real estate values after a gambling development opens.

According to this line of thinking, a mega casino project would drive so much business and bring in so many employees that demand for homes in Foxborough and surrounding towns will rise.

But most of these communities studied have been in poor rural areas or aging, post-industrial cities in need of a boost.

A relatively well-off suburban town in one of the nation's wealthiest metro markets, Foxborough does not fit the typical profile of a casino community.

For better or worse, there is a high degree of snobbery in the suburbs of Greater Boston. There is a pecking order among towns - where you live can certainly peg you in a certain economic and social strata.

So you just have to wonder whether being known as a casino town would be a plus in the affluent western suburbs. Knowing how home buyers and sellers think in this market, there may be reason to be wary of such a label.

What's your take? Will rolling the dice drive up home prices or send them sinking?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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