Sunday, May 31, 2009

No "Hack" Alliance, Please

Per the SHNS today:
A book-closing on transportation revenues for the summer would neatly lift the curtain on a casino or slot machines vote, or casino and slots vote, in the fall, and few nose-counters in either branch expect the Legislature will once more resist the dollar signs and neon lights.

“We’re going to have gaming,” Murray said. “It won’t be soon. It’ll probably be later rather than sooner.”

Part of the math on the gambling vote is geometric. While the Turnpike’s entanglements have surged to the fore, attention to the T’s fiscal problems, which are actually deeper, has waned. Dangling mass transit funding in front of gambling-averse liberals, who adore the social and environmental benefits of mass transit, seems a pretty effective way of picking up votes for legislative leaders pushing casinos or slots.
If a self-reported "progressive" votes for casinos out of transportation concerns, people should strongly consider whether they're really progressives. That borders on what I always hoped was a mythical "hack/progressive alliance" that Howie Carr loves to write about. Paying for transportation off the backs of gambling addicts and the poor, as well as our state's entire small business infrastructure, is neither an adult nor a reality-based political philosophy. It won't generate revenue for our state -- through small business, state lottery losses, increased social costs and decreased economic participating among the 5% of problem gamblers that exist in states with slots, it's almost guaranteed we'll lose revenue over the long haul.

If legislators want to help out the MBTA - and goodness knows the MBTA needs help - they need to be responsible adults and pay for it in non-gimmicky ways. The obvious payment method should be money coming from the gas tax, but almost anything is more responsible and better for the state than using the MBTA as an excuse to create casinos or slots in Massachusetts.


Kathleen Conley Norbut said...

Bear in mind Ryan, that State House News is supported by advertising sponsors including the lobbying firm of O'Neill Associates. They have an agenda of their own....

Mohegan Sun Palmer Office
1426 Main Street
Palmer, MA 01420

Please RSVP by Friday, May 15th to:

O'Neill and Associates

The above information in bold is from an invitation to the open house in Palmer (a bland storefront in a SMOC rehab. housing project) by Mohegan Sun.

The invitations had apparently been sent to local government officials' email addresses. It appeared to be a lobbying event.

SHN is sponsored by a political lobbying firm with business currently before the legislature.

There seems to be an appearance of a conflict of interest. I questioned Craig Sandler if this is ethical. He did not directly answer my question. He stated that they are advertisers on SHN.
"O’Neill is a subscriber to the News Service and of course an ad customer, and that’s the extent of our connection. They did help us with one other thing – an endorsement for our promotional video,"

I was wondering how many businesses in Massachusetts get billing on SHN when they open a little storefront? No one I have ever met had the privilege reserved for Mohegan Sun.

Middleboro Review said...


Ms. Norbut has made a good point about the Commonwealth being overrun with gambling industry dollars, P.R., media coverage, articles proclaiming "It's INEVITABLE!" (just as we saw in Middleboro), amidst a flood of well paid lobbying and the glitz and glamor of the POT OF GOLD to solve all problems.

Ooops! They neglected to tell you that for every $1 the state gains in revenue, it will cost you $3.

Such a deal!

Will you fall for it?

The cost of Gambling's Dirty Little Secrets is BIG!


Unfortunately, the Gambling Industry has lied to us about the rate of addiction.

It's not 5%.

It's much, much higher.

Gambling addiction is seriously under estimated. (About 3% of people with gambling problems self refer, compared to about 15% for alcohol and 25% for drugs)

That tells you that there are some significant issues about gambling addiction that prevent self referrals.

There is a secrecy involved -- borrowing money or stealing from relatives on a pretext, lying to friends, stealing, maybe cheating employers and so on.


-Pathological gamblers about 4%
-Problem gamblers about 9%
-At Risk gamblers about 18%

That's 31%.

About 1/3rd of the population does not gamble. These people, indifferent to gambling, help to statistically keep the projections used by the gambling industry (and their psychologists) on the low side.

If we eliminate that 1/3 of the population, when we discuss "problem gambers", aren't we really talking about 50% of the remaining population?

The National Gambling Impact Study Commission-1999, demonstrated that the numbers of pathological and problem gamblers DOUBLE, within a 50 mile radius of new gambling sites.

This is a far greater problem than the Gambling Industry wants you to talk about.

Slot Machines, as you know, are designed to ADDICT.

90% of revenue is generated by 10% of customers. Only customers who play to EXTINCTION create the profits needed for SLOT MACHINES.

Take Every Last Pennyor check out what my friend, Glady had to say --
The Sucker Zone

Anonymous said...

Look on the bright side, they'll be a new Purple line from downtown Boston to the casinos, and it'll probably be free.

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