However, I haven't even come to the good part about Flynn's hearing. Screw having honest brokers be invited to the hearing, he has specific people in mind to invite already.
The Legislature's Bonding Committee is inviting a number of gambling bigwigs, from Donald Trump to Harrah's CEO Gary Loveman to casino developer Richard Fields, who controls Suffolk Downs.
Others on the early invitation list include Gov. Deval Patrick's administration, district attorneys, major state unions who favor casinos, track owners and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which has been skeptical of Patrick's casino numbers.
Wow. So far, the pro-casino to anti-casino count is 7:1, with one group of people unknown (the district attorneys). Notably missing from that list is any independent economic experts from our state's leading universities, any college professors who have spent years studying the economics of how casinos impact communities, especially economically, or any pro-and-con community leaders who have dealt with casinos entering their backyards in the past. For example, I'm curious to hear more from some Atlantic City small business experts, where restaurants, clubs and other similar establishments saw a the number of their establishments go from over 225 before casinos to under 60 after them.
The fact of the matter is we don't need the Don(ald) coming into town, making this a media circus. Furthermore, none of us should trust a damn thing the CEO of Hurrah would say. He's not exactly going to be an honest broker.
No one can deny that casinos raise a lot of revenue, what is in question is just how much of that revenue is new. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston estimates that up to 75% of casino revenue is just redirected from other sectors of the economy, which would mean local businesses within at least a 50 mile radius of a casino would be anything from significantly hurt to crippled. Money in your pockets, after all, is a net sum game: if you spend it somewhere, you can't spend it anywhere else. Until we address the real issues here, how casinos will impact our communities both socially and especially economically, then we can't green light or push forward any slot machines or Class 3 gambling in this state. There just isn't enough information yet and, judging by the early list of guests, Representative David Flynn's hearing is going to do nothing to change that fact.