September 18, 2007

Southern New England, Land of the Resort Casino

Justin Katz

The pressure that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's three-casino proposal puts on Rhode Island raises in the imagination a map of the United States with a cluster of red dots representing six casinos squeezed into the tiny area covered by Southern New England. Is that the reality to which we all wish to awake when the money-drunk desperation for state revenue subsides?

I have no moral objection to gambling, but the pending rush on casinos, as if they represent some sort of miracle stock in which to invest, reeks of greed from top to bottom — from the state government that refuses to cut spending significantly to the companies that seek to profit from the cheaply produced entertainment of an illusion of easy riches to the people who direct their own resources from more productive ends toward that illusion. Even if we make the questionable assumption that legalized and industrialized gambling will not come with the seedy chains of its outside-the-law ancestry, a system built on greed will inevitably engulf the entire society in its corruption.

Don't believe me? Then put down the mental map and imagine the result when Big Casino, Big Labor, Big Welfare, and Big Government Democrats turn their murky green gaze in unison toward their mutual prey. It will be far too late for that prey by the time those powerful entities realize, in their greed, that there is not enough of the dying breed to go around.

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Gambling revenues should be the gravy, not the meat and potatoes. We have become so dependant on that revenue source we cannot sustain our government without it. Funds procured by people so willing to give it away should be used for the extra's, not education, infrastructure and public safety. We're doomed if Massachussetts gets into the act with three casino's.

Posted by: michael at September 18, 2007 8:59 AM

"Gambling revenues should be the gravy, not the meat and potatoes."

Too true. And it's almost never heeded.

Posted by: Greg at September 18, 2007 9:12 AM

Baby boomer demographics notwithstanding, there simply aren't enough seniors to support all of the proposed casinos and generate the revenue the sales pitch projections provide. Inevitably they're going to cannibalize each other.

The states will see a short-term bump in revenue, and build into their budgets a cost-structure even higher than the incoming revenue. Then that revenue will start to drop off.

Rhode Island once functioned without an income tax or lottery / gambling (and with a lower sales tax rate). NH functions far better than RI without a sales or income tax.

No matter what the additional revenue - such as the not-so-secret plan to incrementally transition Twin Rivers to a full-fledged casino - the Democrat General Assembly will p*** it away by giving it to their special interest constituencies ... and then claim "crisis" if there is a falloff of revenue.

Cancer treatment often calls for cutting off the blood vessels supplying the tumors, for otherwise the tumors will just keep on growing. The Democrat General Assembly works the same way - we need to cut off its "blood vessels" of tax revenue - including any "additional revenue" that would be generated by a casino.

Posted by: Tom W at September 18, 2007 10:09 AM

I can't wait for it to happen. no matter what they do in Lincoln/Newport this will KILL the Mass. revenue from gambling in RI, which is like 40% of the money coming in. That means the $400 million plus defecits, as far as the eye can see, will become $550 million defecits.
In other words, default and an economic reckoning are coming soon.
Also, the progressives fantasy of that long promised "alternate revenue stream" for "a fair and equitable education funding formula"? Kiss it good-BYE!

Posted by: Mike at September 18, 2007 10:55 AM

R.I. has had video lottery terminals since the Democrat Sundlun Administration.

Mass. has resisted video slots and casinos up until this year.

What's changed . . . oh, wait! They elected a Democrat Governor!

Posted by: brassband at September 18, 2007 11:35 AM

The results of globalism and deindustrialization - a casino on every corner. Remember when we built factories that made not only products, but helped fullfill the dreams of those who toiled in them.

Posted by: PDM at September 18, 2007 4:10 PM

Just saw it on Channel 10 - Chief Thomas was on with Helen Glover on WHJJ this morning. They've got a link to the interview on their website at

Posted by: Matt at September 18, 2007 5:20 PM

I haven't listened to the interview but I assume it's him prattling on about how the ream job the GA wanted to sell us was the best thing since sliced bread and we're all racist against the indians and 'I told ya so'?

Posted by: Greg at September 18, 2007 5:48 PM
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