THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
LOSING AT THE CASINOS

Harmful business model

June 23, 2010

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WHEN IT comes to casinos, there is no issue in recent memory that the Globe editorial board has written so much about yet with so little understanding (“In battle over gambling,’’ June 21).

The casino business model is based on people who are addicted or heavily in debt, which explains why Harrah’s found that 90 percent of its gambling profits come from the financial losses of 10 percent of its visitors, according to Christina Binkley’s book “Winner Takes All.’’

Instead of investigating the casinos’ business model and their business practices, we are diverted with hollow arguments like “people are going out of state.’’ I don’t recall an editorial highlighting the millions of trips by Bay State residents being taken every year out of T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island, Bradley International in Connecticut, and Manchester Airport in New Hampshire, costing our state billions of dollars in lost economic impact and an untold number of jobs annually.

I also don’t recall an editorial about the hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents streaming endlessly to New Hampshire to buy TVs, computers, building materials, and countless other retail products to avoid the sales tax, costing our state thousands of jobs. Ironically, the Globe editorial board favored increasing the sales tax rate. When presented with the facts, sensible people will conclude no problem better symbolizes what is broken about our state than the government program of predatory gambling.

LES BERNAL
Lawrence

The writer is executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling.

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