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SJC Rules Casino Law Repeal Can Be On The Ballot! Read now on the "Articles" page.

The effect of a large market, tax-exempt casino of the type being proposed for Middleboro is very different to that of a smaller facility located in a very rural area or commercial(Vegas) facilities. Most studies will average the effect of all types of casinos - which is important to keep in mind when reading any casino research.

Rep. Dan Bosley has an excellent treatise on the effect of a casino on the economy. He's right.

There are several types of casinos:
  • Rural - a fairly small facility located in a sparsely populated area more than 50 miles from a major population center
  • Commercial - of the type typically found in Las Vegas or Atlantic City - these are often publicly held companies that pay taxes and adhere to local, state, and federal regulation just like any other company.
  • Large-Market/Mega Indian Casino - This is the kind of facility being planned for Middleboro and is similar to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun. A casino of this type is located near major population centers and is a resort destination featuring hotels, entertainment, restaurants, shopping, etc. Being under sovereign nation status - these facilites need not adhere to local or state regulation and pay no local or state taxes.

A large market/mega casino will:

  • Cause Increases In Crime
    One of the most comprehensive studies on casinos and crime reported that casinos increased crime in the catgories of rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft. The increased crime starts about three years after casino introduction. This pattern is consistent with the theories that problem and pathological gamblers commit crime as they deplete their resources. It found that the effects of crime outweigh the potentially positive effects on crime that casinos may have through offering improved labor market opportunities.14
  • Cause The Host Community To Lose Control Of Their Town
    The casino will transplant 10,000 jobs into the host community at the expense of surrounding communities. A likely side effect of this is that they will have a built-in voting bloc than can control any town. This would be true no matter what sort of facility it was - 10,000 employees in a small city or town - many of whom live and vote in the host community - would be a formidable voting force.

    The area selectmen recognize this possibility. Here one refers to the Casino becoming an "800 pound political gorilla" which is commonly accepted slang for an extremely powerful force. He wisely mentions the likelihood that this political force will eventually control town meeting and thus the town - saying that the political process can become controlled by "casino interests".

    In the Middleboro Selectmen's meeting of July 8th, Mr. Bond stated that we should change our form of town government to prevent the casino from taking over the town.

    Given that the only draft agreement we have seen already obligates us to work on the Casino's behalf to one level or another --- we should all be very concerned about our ability to control our own destiny.

  • Deepen Our State's Budget Problems
    Not one state in the country has ever solved its budget problems with gambling revenues. Even New Jersey, with its 17 casinos, had to shut down its state government due to a budget crisis.1
  • Dramatically Increase the Tax Burden on Non-Gamblers
    Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island all have casino gambling and all have higher taxes than Massachusetts..2 Under the ruse of property tax relief, Pennsylvania passed a bill to legalize slots two years ago and today their Governor is calling for a major increase in the sales tax rate..3 These states pay higher taxes in part because they need to make up for the unmet revenue needs that were promised by the casinos - every $1 in gambling taxes costs $3..4 Non-gamblers pay for the massive social costs that the casino gambling industry brings along with it. The industry certainly doesn t pay the bill.
  • Detract From Our State's Economy
    Casinos don't bring an economic multiplier effect to a region..5 It's why cities like Atlantic City and Detroit and states like Louisiana and Mississippi are still languishing, despite their heavy concentration of casinos. If casinos were good economic development like proponents say they are, then why would The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Business Journal, two of the most pro-business newspapers in the country, both editorialize against them?6 In large part because they lower a region's standard of living by attracting lots of low wage casino jobs and merely act as a jobs transfer and not a job creator.
  • Change the Quality of Life in Our Communities
    The national leader of the casino industry lobby, Frank Fahrenkopf, said he'd oppose a casino where he lived. If he doesn t want one in his region, why would we?
    Beyone the costs which are easy to define(schools, police, fire, etc) there are intangibles that are every bit as important but hard to quantify. There is the light pollution. There is the traffic and related dangers. There is the increased housing that will come. There is the 40 story building jutting out of our country side.

    These are real effects that need to be compensated for.

  • Hurt Our State's Families
    Gambling addiction to slot machines is all about speed: the faster you play, the more likely you will play out-of-control and be more reckless with your money as you lose it in the machine. Today's slots are meticulously designed computers, generating precise profits, deliberately creating a false sense of near wins and regular small payoffs that create an illusion of sporting chance. They are the most addictive form of gambling ever devised.7

    Anyone comforted by the idea that casino gambling is voluntary should spend a day with the casino staffs that target people based on how fast they play a slot machine and track prospects' and players' observed worth, define their predicted value, and systematically maximize individual "share of wallet" through targeted and customized promotional messages, limited-time cash offers, and carefully tracked time-to-response and spending analysis. This predatory marketing explains why for people who live within 50 miles of a casino, at least 1 out of every 20 people becomes a gambling addict.8

    But while these problem gamblers are very lucrative for the industry, their addiction leads to crime, distressed families, suicide and bankruptcy.9 Non-gamblers are left paying the tab for these costs through higher taxes. With 16 percent of adults leaving the state to gamble in the past year, advocates argue that legalization would "recapture" lost revenue from these gamblers and generate $350 million in income to the state from slots alone.10

    On the surface, that appears to represent only a $475 annual loss per player. But industry executives will tell you that 85 percent of their revenue comes from 20 percent of the players.11 For the state to make its $350 million on slots after payouts, 147,000 gamblers - about 3 percent of the entire adult population - have to lose a total of $496 million. That's an average annual loss of $3,374 apiece.

    Adding slots to Massachusetts' revenue mix is equal to raising taxes on the average player by 62 percent.12 It s a massive tax increase pitched as entertainment. The bottom line is whether you are a gambler or a non-gambler, we all will be paying a lot more in taxes if casinos are legalized.


1 Governor Corzine Signs Executive Order for Orderly Shutdown of Government Operations, Office of the Governor press release, July 1, 2006
2 The Tax Foundation, State and Local Tax Burden Compared to Other U.S. States, 2007 Rendell appointee defends sales tax hike
3. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 21, 2007
4 Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits , Dr. Earl Grinols. 2005
5 Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway, in 2004 television interview
6 The Boston Business Journal, January 19, 2007 and The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2002
7 The Hartford Courant, May 9, 2004
8 National Gambling Impact Study Commission Report, commissioned by the United States Congress, 1999
9 National Gambling Impact Study Commission Report, commissioned by the United States Congress, 1999
10 Opinion Dynamics poll on behalf of the Massachusetts State Lottery and the Massachusetts Council of Compulsive Gambling, Fall 2005
11 Jackpot: Harrah's Winning Secrets for Customer Loyalty, Robert Shook; Pg. 236
12 The Tax Foundation, State and Local Tax Burden Compared to Other U.S. States, 2007
13 Grinols/Mustard - Casinos And Crime

More Reference Material:
[1]Mohegan Sun Annual Report
[2]Taylor, Krepps, Wang
[3]The Impact of Indian Casinos on State Lotteries
[4]MA State Treasurer Cahill - Boston Globe 5/24/2007
[5]Rappaport study
[6]Kent County Times
[7]Hines Paper
[8]Candace Evert testimony on casino costs
[9]Casinos and Crime - The Luck Runs Out Washington Post - 5/11/2006
[10]State Representative Tom Reynolds (D-Ledyard, Preston, Montville) testimony

Supplemental Reference Material

The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development

Annotated Bibliography: The Social and Economic Impacts of Indian and Other Gaming. The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.

The national evidence on the socioeconomic impacts of American Indian gaming on non-Indian communities.

University of California Riverside Center for California Native Nations

An Analysis of Tribal Government Gaming in California

Ashton, S. J. (2003). The role of the national Indian gaming Commission in the regulation of tribal gaming. New England Law Review, 37(3), pp. 545-551. (c20060886)*

Center for California Native Nations (2006, January). An impact analysis of tribal government gaming in California. University of California Riverside. Retrieved January 25, 2006 from (c20060888)

Coin, J. (2004, March 1). Fighting the myth of the rich Indian. Indian Country Today. Retrieved July 2, 2004 from (c20053401)

Darian-Smith, E. (2004). New capitalists: Law, politics, and identity surrounding casino gaming on Native American land. Case Studies on Contemporary Social Issues. Belmont, CA: Thompson/Wadsworth. (c20053408)

Dunstan, R. (1998, September). Indian casinos in California. California Research Bureau, California State Library. Sacramento, CA (CRB098-015). Retrieved December 12, 2005 from (c20060884)

Goldberg-Ambrose, C. (1997). Planting tail feathers: Tribal survival and public law 280. Los Angeles, CA: McNaughton & Gunn/ University of California American Indian Studies Center. (c20061197)

Goldberg, C., & Champagne, D. (1996, March). A Second century of dishonor: Federal inequalities and California tribes. Retrieved December 3, 2005 from UCLA American Indian Studies Center Web site: (c20061196)

Gordon, C. M. (2000). From hope to revitalization of dreams: Proposition 5 and California Indian gaming. In Mullis, A., & Kamper, D. (Eds.) Indian Gaming Who Wins. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Los Angeles American Indian Studies Center. (c20053610)

Kalt, J. P., & Singer, J. W., (2004). Myths and realities of tribal sovereignty: The law and economics of Indian self-rule. Joint Occasional Papers on Native Affairs (2004-03). The Harvard Project on American Indian Development. Malcolm Weiner Center for Social Policy John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Retrieved December 10, 2005 from (c20060890)

Light and Rand (2005). Indian gaming and tribal sovereignty, the casino compromise. Kansas: University Press of Kansas. (c20061012)

Marquez, D. (2002, February 9). Indian gaming is different. Retrieved July 2, 2004 from the Indian Country Today Web site: (c20053400)

Mason, W. D. (2000). Indian gaming: Tribal sovereignty and American politics. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. (c20053409)

National Indian Gaming Commission (2006a). Introduction to tribal gaming. Retrieved December 23, 2005 from (c20060889)

National Indian Gaming Commission (2006b). Mission and responsibilities. Retrieved December 20, 2005 from (c20060891)

Taylor, J.B., Krepps, M.B., & Wang, P. (2000). The national evidence on the socioeconomic impacts of American Indian gaming on non-Indian communities. The Harvard Project on American Indian Development. Malcolm Weiner Center for Social Policy John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Retrieved December 23, 2005 from (c20060887)

Wilkins, D. E. (2002). American Indian Politics and the American Political System. New York: Rowman & Littlefield. (c20060885)


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