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Stephanie A. Levin: Casino law repeal now taking shape

To the editor:

The booming front-page headline Aug. 17, “Casino home stretch,” implied that soon Massachusetts casinos will be built. A better headline might have been, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over,” because right now, opponents are gathering signatures for a “Repeal the Deal” anti-casino initiative to go before the state’s voters.

Already submitted to the attorney general for approval, the measure is planned for the November 2014 ballot.

Some people have always opposed gambling for moral reasons, but even for those with no such objections there are now serious reasons to give Massachusetts casinos a second look.

All our neighboring states — Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island — either already have or are now expanding their gambling enterprises. Since people have only so much money to gamble, this means that each casino will generate much less revenue than proponents optimistically projected when Massachusetts casinos were legalized in 2011 and there was less competition. In fact, as Delaware, Indiana, New Jersey, Rhode Island and a few other states recently discovered when gambling expanded in their regions, instead of generating money for the state, some of the casinos may end up laying off workers, asking for government subsidies or even going bankrupt.

Before this happens in Massachusetts, and casinos not only fail to deliver the promised benefits but also leave a host of social and economic problems in their wake, check out www.repealthecasinodeal.org and remember — casinos aren’t inevitable if Massachusetts citizens don’t really want them.

Stephanie A. Levin

Northampton

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