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Casino Facts - Massachusetts/Middleboro FAQs

Frequently-asked questions

Casino Effects

Taking Action

Casino Process

Answer

Will the casino increase town tax revenue?

No. It will likely cost us money.

As a sovereign nation, the Wampanoag are not bound to pay any local or state taxes. That means no property taxes - the primary way that a town gets revenue from a business. The Wampanoag are holding up Mohegan Sun as the kind of facility they want to create. According the Mohegan Sun annual report, they pay $500,000 to the host community of Montville CT. The increased strain on fire, police, school, roads, etc will cost many, many, many times that amount.

Our economy is fully employed - meaning that almost everyone who wants a job, has a job. Any jobs created by the casino will be filled by people who already have one. This has the effect of moving jobs from a taxable place(Middleboro) to a non-taxabe one(the casino). It should be noted that employees will still pay normal income taxes but the casino and all other businesses on the site will not pay any taxes on their revenue. That includes stores, restaurants, and any other facility in the casino complex

Beyond the direct costs of hosting the casino, gambling incurs costs even for those who NEVER gamble! Each compulsive gambler costs the economy between $14,006 and $22,077 per year.[i] If 2% become addicted, that's $280 to $440 per year paid by every other citizen!

The bulk of the casino revenue will go to the state and get distributed to all towns. There's no guarantee that we'll get any more than any other town - despite the strain on local services that we will have to pay for.

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Will the casino create jobs for Middleboro?

Yes and No - but mostly no.

The casino will certainly become the largest employer in Middleboro which sounds good on the surface. The negative effect of these jobs is severe and must be considered in the context of the regional economy.

In a highly depressed area, a casino can have a positive effect on the job market. Middleboro is fully employed - meaning that most residents who want a job already have a job. In order to fill the jobs at the casino people will move from jobs they already have. The big problem is that the existing businesses that are already providing these jobs also provide tax revenue - a percentage of the business's revenue. The businesses on the casino groupd will not pay any state or local taxes on revenue. The net effect will be a decrease in tax revenues for the state

So yes - the casino will be a large employer - but at a terrible cost to the economy by way of the taxable businesses losing jobs to the tax-exempt casino. So from a regional perspective it will not create more jobs because the jobs it creates will come at the expense of jobs we already have - jobs at businesses we are earning tax revenue on.

It has been stated publicly by Selectman Perkins that the construction of casino would create jobs. As quoted in the April 27 Boston Herald: "It's in a rural section of town, very close to Route 44," said Perkins, who supports the idea of a casino. "It will create jobs. I don't see a lot of downside to it, personally."

The creation of jobs by a casino is a myth, and when we take a closer look at the facts, it will become evident that even the jobs that are available are jobs that no one wants.

Betting the Future Kennedy School of Government - Harvard University; Rappaport Institute For Greater Boston, Publication PB 2005-1, January 13, 2005.

No impact on unemployment rates:
The combination of increased population and employment meant that casino counties generally saw little change in their overall unemployment rates.

The vast majority of the jobs created are menial - they are waitress, kitchen help, card dealer, house cleaning jobs that are temporary, without job security and without a career plan or future. These are low paying jobs that do not generate spending in the local economy.
According to the Thomson Corporation - Atlantic City: Economy (2006), the average hourly salary for 2004 for all casino workers was $15.00. The Living Wage, as defined by Living Wage Calculator, for Atlantic City for two parents and one child is $18.64 per hour. The living wage in Atlantic City is 25% higher than the hourly wage.

Therefore, workers in the casino do not have extra spending money to put back into the local economy, they use thier pay checks to pay for heat and food.
More importantly, many research reports have reached the conclusion that a casino actually leads to a decrease in job growth.

From Casinos: Effect on Economy:
Casinos promise to create thousands of jobs, but Professor John Kindt, a professor at University of Illinois, said, "The field research indicates that nationwide you stand to lose 1.5 jobs for every job the casinos create. In Chicago the field research indicated that 2 to 2.75 jobs would be lost if a land-based casino were built and that is why Governor Edgar vetoed the proposal." Kindt says of gambling in general, "...for every dollar legalized gambling interests indicate is contributed in taxes, it really costs the taxpayer $3.00 to address the increased socio-economic costs to society."

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How would a casino affect Middleboro?

Crime will increase. Traffic will increase. Strain on town services will increase. Tax revenue will decrease. Social problems related to gambling addiction and substance abuse will increase.

Crime rates in casino communities are 84% higher than the national average, says U.S. New & World Report. In Ledyard, Conn., originally a rural area like Middleboro, crime tripled between 1990 and 1998 with the growth of Foxwoods Casino -- including a rise in drunk driving, drugs, prostitution, burglary, sexual assault, and car theft.


  • A casino also increases local bankruptcies, embezzlements and suicides, research shows. When a new casino is built, gambling addiction rates double within a 50-mile radius, and casinos are linked statistically with increasing debt, DUI arrests, and domestic violence.
  • The one million gallons of water daily would be a drain on the town.
  • Because casinos typically have extremely high turnover rates, a transient workforce would make affordable housing even scarcer and the cost of housing to decline. Most casino jobs are low-paying, a casino would have to bring in mostly low-skilled workers.
  • Gamblers and casino shift employees would use not only the Rt. 44 but townroads from the train station to make their way to the casino, leading to constant traffic congestion.
  • Downtown businesses would lose employees to the casinos and customers to the traffic snarls. Because casino resorts are self-enclosed worlds, local businesses seldom see an increase in foot traffic, and local restaurants struggle to compete with low-cost casino food.

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What would Middleboro get in return?

We will likely get a small stipend from the tribe that is not even close to offsetting the costs we will incur. We will be closely located to a world-class resort. Along with that will come the negatives associated with any large facility - traffic, crime, strain on services, socio-economic problems. This would be true of any large facility,,, casino or otherwise. It's a statistical fact - more people = more problems.

As tribal land, the 325 acres on Precinct street would be sovereign territory of the Wompanoags and thus exempt from property and sales taxes. The casino backers paid 1.75 million for the 1st 125 acres and the remaining 200 acres were sold privately. However, the sovereign nation status of the casino means any promises cannot be legally enforced in U.S. courts. Furthermore, for every tax dollar taken in from gaming taxes, there is an outlay of three dollars for infrastructure costs, relatively high regulatory expenses, criminal justice system and social-welfare expenses.

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How much say will Middleboro have over the development?

Little, if any. If the land becomes sovereign Wampanoag territory, in effect it is a separate nation and exempt from all local and state regulation - including zoning, state environmental and no-smoking laws. The tribe may agree to some restrictions - such as paying state taxes -- to get the necessary compact passed by the State Legislature, but Middleboro itself has no such leverage legally.

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What will neighboring towns get in return?

In Connecticut, towns that are considered to be impacted by proximity to the casino get 250 thousand dollars per year. Given that area towns will get the same influx of workers, strain on schools, strain on police, and other local services, this amount does not even approach the financial burden that the casino will impose on area towns.

It is very likely that area towns will get an even worse deal than the one Middleboro is likely to get.

Area towns may also get a view of a 40 story hotel looming over the countryside depending on their current location.

Where do we stand at the State level?

On the political side, Governor Deval Patrick, has yet to pass level III casino gambling in this state, but is expected to make a decision on the issue sometime in August.

Chuck Anderson is working at the governor's office and currently gathering all info regarding the effects of casino gambling on the state.

You can contact Chuck at 617-725-4090 Statehouse room 271 or charles.a.anderson@state.ma.us

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What can be done to oppose a casino in Middleboro or Massachusetts?

  • Educate yourself by reading information on the effects of casinos on other towns. including the towns around Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.
  • Contact your state and local officials and voice your opposition.
  • Make a sign and put it on your lawn: No Casino - casinofacts.org or anything else you want.
  • Write a letter to the editor.
  • Join our mailing list and get involved with your town.
  • Sign our petition and volunteer volunteer forms.
  • Get your family, friends and neighbors involved. There's power in numbers!

Contact the following people, make your voice heard, and tell them what you think of having a casino in Middleboro or Massachusetts.

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What is the Impact of Casino Gambling on Personal Bankruptcy Filing Rates?

Personal bankruptcies soared in the United States between 1994 and 1998. One activity that can precipitate personal financial crises and that has also experienced dramatic growth is commercial gambling, especially casino gambling. Proximity of casino gambling appears to be associated with higher bankruptcy rates, but that the local impact is far more pronounced than the influence of casino gambling on the national filing rate.

John M. Barron, Michael E. Staten and Stephanie M. Wilshusen
Barron: Professor, Department of Economics, Krannert Graduate School of Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907. E-mail barron@mgmt.purdue.edu
Staten: Director, Credit Research Center, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, 3240 Prospect Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20007. E-mail statenm@msb.edu
Wilshusen: Research Associate, Credit Research Center, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, 3240 Prospect Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20007. E-mail wilshuss@msb.edu
Abstract

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How would a casino affect Middleboro's school system?

The school system would come under severe strain from increased enrollment. In the towns around Foxwoods Casino, the students speak more than 30 different languages, necessitating special instruction and Middleboro would have to handle the influx of new students.

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How do I subscribe/unsubscribe/use to the casino_issue mailing list?

The casino_issue mailing list has been created to let us communicate effectively with a single mail address rather than everyone trying to manage their own gigantic CC lists. To subscribe, go to this page. Fill in your email address, name, choose a password, and click on the "Subscribe" button.

Thereafter you can send email to casino_issue@casinofacts.org to communicate with the group.

Further on down in the same page you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Does proximity to a casino matter?

Proximity and poverty matter

Addiction rates double within 50 miles of a casino.[vii] Probable pathological gambling in Nevada in 2000 measured 3.5%. Other states ranged from 2.1% in North Dakota in 2000 to 4.9% in Mississippi in 1996.[viii] A casino within 10 miles of a home yields a 90% increased risk of its occupants becoming pathological or problem gamblers. Neighborhood disadvantage increases that risk another 69%.[ix] Slots and other gambling machines push susceptible players to the pathological level in an average of 1.08 years, vs. 3.58 years with more "conventional" forms of table and racetrack gambling.[x]

[x] Breen, Robert B. and Zimmerman, Mark; - Rapid Onset of Pathological Gambling in Machine Gamblers - p.2

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What will happen to local businesses and jobs?

Most casinos attract 80% or more of their market from a 35-50 mile radius. Casinos absorb existing entertainment, restaurant and hotel business, and deplete dollars available to other retail businesses. That destroys other jobs in the trade area and eliminates their sales, employment and property tax contributions.[ii]

[ii] Grinols, Earl L. Gambling in America, Costs and Benefits, p.p. 55-92.

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How will a casino effect the Middleboro police department?

The annual number of calls to Ledyard, Connecticut police department jumped from 4000 to 16,700 within five years after the opening of the nearby Foxwoods Casino.


Mayor Wesley J. Johnson, Sr., "Fiscal Impacts of Foxwoods Casino on the Town of Ledyard, Connecticut,"
April 1997.

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What watchdogs regulate town officials and activities?

1. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL. Main focus: public expenditure.
Web site.
Report violations toll-free: 800-322-1323

2. MASSACHUSETTS ETHICS COMMISSION. Main focus: conflict of interest & the financial disclosure law.
www.mass.gov
Investigator-of-the-day toll-free: 888-485-4766

3. PLYMOUTH COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY (BROCKTON). Main focus: the open meeting law, which sets restrictions on "executive session" town meetings.
www.mass.gov
Phone: 508-584-8120

4. SECRETARY OF STATE. Main focus: The Public Records Law, whereby any citizen is entitled to a copy of virtually any public record.
Web: www.sec.state.ma.us (click on "A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Record Law" (Adobe Acrobat required)

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What needs to happen before a casino can be built?

Gambling of any sort can only be done on tribal lands. The only reservation land owned by the tribe is in Mashpee and they have signed an agreement with Mashpee that forbids them from puting a casino on the Cape.

To put a casino anywhere else, the land as to be placed into trust with the Department of the Interior - effectively turning it into tribal land. Getting land put into trust is a difficult process that is bordering on impossible if the host community does not want a casino. The short version is:

  • Sign agreement with host community(proving that they want it)
  • Sign agreement with the state(proving that the state wants it)
  • Petition the federal government to put the land into trust since everybody wants it
Without local cooperation, this already difficult process becomes essentially impossible.

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Can the casino be built even if Middleboro says "No"?

No.

While it may be possible in theory, there has never been a host community that was forced to take a casino that wasn't wanted. This is nothing more than a concerted scare tactic to make you vote with fear instead of belief. See this blog article for more info.

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