Casinos’ real costs yet to be studied

June 18, 2010

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SENATOR STANLEY Rosenberg, who helped write the Massachusetts Senate’s casino legislation, is quoted as saying that “every point of view, every study, has been heard, vetted, and considered’’ (“Emotions high in casino debate,’’ Metro, June 9). What he didn’t say was that that there has actually been no objective study of the economic and social impact of the alternatives being considered. A number of Massachusetts lawmakers and citizens’ organizations have called for such studies, but these were rejected. Many legislators, relying on studies from the casino industry or researchers associated with it, claim that there will be thousands of jobs and millions in revenues. But what about the costs?

Without a thorough study of the real costs of the casinos to other businesses and to the state’s taxpayers, Rosenberg and other legislators could find themselves voting for legislation that will do long-term, irreparable harm to the state’s economy and citizens. We deserve better from those who represent us.

The writer is the former director of the US Gambling Research Institute and the author of “The Luck Business.’’

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