Gov. Deval Patrick has heard the siren call of casinos, proposing that three be built in the state, including one in Western Massachusetts. We are confident, however, that the House, which contains the lawmakers who are best-informed and most realistic about casinos, will put the brakes on this proposal.
Mr. Patrick argues the casinos will generate revenue for the state, but that is counterproductive if the casinos also drain away lottery money that is used to generate revenue for the state. Lottery money is already in decline, jeopardizing a revenue source communities have become addicted to. The governor's claim that casinos produce "good jobs at good wages" is unsupported by Connecticut's ongoing experience. Crime and gambling addictions, however, are known casino byproducts, and costly ones.
As far as a Western Massachusetts casino is concerned, we assume the governor won't be nominating Richmond, where he has a home, as a potential location. It would be difficult to think of anything that would do more harm to the growing effort to brand the Berkshires as a center of cultural tourism than to introduce a casino into the hills.
- The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Mass.)