Critics shout down Massachusetts gambling expansion bill

mass statehouseIt was only a matter of time before the critics, who often are the least knowledgeable opponents on the topic of gambling expansion; rose up to let their voices to be heard in the state of Massachusetts. You knew the bill would have its hurdles, but some of the arguments being made against gambling expansion are illogical.

As the Telegram reports, Social workers, church and civic organizations spouted blistering criticisms and dire warnings over what they see as a controversial gambling expansion bill which includes three casinos and a slot machine resort.

With the possibility of the bill being passed very soon, opponents took to the Statehouse warning over loudspeakers that the social ills and costs of expanded gambling will outweigh any benefits, the Telegram reports.

Additionally, they accused legislative supporters and Gov. Deval L. Patrick of gambling the well-being of future generations by opening the door to casinos.

Now as I said earlier, the arguments for the most part are illogical. Gambling expansion does not lead to more problem gamblers this has already been researched and proven.

As for the social workers who fear they will have more work to do, (which they are being paid for) as it stands right now, they are helping people who are currently getting their gambling fix in Connecticut and destinations outside state borders. At the very least, the bill will provide more revenue to support these programs.

Eva Valentine, president of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts said, “Casinos in any community cannibalize small business…I can’t believe this is the most creative idea that has come up to solve our economic problems” – Telegram

Valentine argued that casinos would make it harder for small restaurants, clothing stores and other small businesses to prosper and create jobs in cities and towns near casinos.


Exactly how much money are small businesses and restaurants contributing to the state’s economy and budget at the moment? Additionally, if small businesses, clothing stores etc were prospering before and creating jobs, the state’s sputtering economy and the rising unemployment levels wouldn’t be an issue.

As is the case with anything, there are pros and cons. But like I said, it’s always interesting how most of the critics seem to be the ones that are the least knowledgeable about gambling expansion. It’s disappointing because it makes it impossible to have an intelligent debate on the matter.

Perhaps, that’s exactly what the critics want.