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MILLBURY PLANNING BOARD MEETING:
Monday, August 26, 2013 7:15 PM Millbury High School

5 Reasons to VOTE NO SLOTS

  1. It’s economic cannibalism, not economic development.
  2. If the goal is to create and sustain decent jobs, there are faster, better alternatives.
  3. Government promotion of slot-machine gambling to solve our economic and employment problems creates more problems than rewards.
  4. The notion of setting aside more adequate resources for “treatment” is a cruel hoax.
  5. Hyped with unrealistic revenue projections and fraught with under-stated or ignored secondary costs, the introduction of slot machines is a risky gamble with Worcester’s future.

Source: United Stop Slots Massachusetts

Protect family. Protect business. Protect community safety.
Oppose a slots parlor in Worcester.

Make your voice heard below.

Comments

  1. David Schaefer

    April 11, 2013

    It is vital to the future of Worcester that the slots casino proposal be defeated. The latest, electronic slot machines are designed to be highly addictive, and to empty users’ bank accounts and credit cards as rapidly as possible. (See the excellent 2012 book by MIT Professor Natasha Dow Schull, “ADDICTION BY DESIGN.”) They are associated with high rates of crime, bankruptcy, marital problems, alcoholism, drug abuse, and even suicide. NOR are they in any sense a tool of “economic development” (witness what they have done to Atlantic City.)

    As for the argument that without a local slots parlor, we are “losing” revenue that “players” are spending instead at Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun: it TAKES A GOOD DEAL OF TIME (and gas!) to drive to those CT casinos, which itself LIMITS opportunities for “play.” This casino will be SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE OF WORCESTER, placing temptation CLOSE BY. A casino in an urban location Worcester – unlike one out in the boonies – will draw MOST of its “clientele” from those living nearby. This won’t TRANSFER play so much as INCREASE it – and all the problems that addictive gambling brings with it.

    (For documentation of the above observations and much more, citizens should consult the Worcester Regional Research Bureau’s 2013 report “Should Worcester Welcome a Slots Casino?”, as well as its 2007 report on the effects of casinos more generally, both available on its website, WRRB.org.)

    Neal Bluhm, the head of Rush Street Entertainment, the prospective casino builder, is an enormously rich and politically well connected individual who has made a fortune taking advantage of other people’s weaknesses, regardless of the havoc he wreaks. He has chosen Worcester as a site because he thinks we are a community of suckers. PLEASE LET’S PROVE HIM WRONG and drive him and his cohorts out of town – preferably to someplace like the Aleutian Islands, the Kalahari Desert, or Mars!

    Citizens of Worcester, unite. We have nothing to lose but enslavement to a corrupt menace.

    David Schaefer, Professor of Political Science, Holy Cross College

  2. Allen Greenman

    April 11, 2013

    Absolutely no slots in Worcester. We are entering a new age of gentrification and CitySquare will hopefully bring renewed economic prosperity downtown. We cannot afford to take a step backward like this.

  3. Colin Michael James Novick

    April 11, 2013

    A slots facility DOES NOT represent who we are as Worcester,
    and we, as a community, do NOT chose to sell out our future
    and our children’s future.

    “The rights of posterity take precedence over the desires of the present.” J. Muir

  4. Barbara G. Haller

    April 11, 2013

    Slots Worcester is not the Worcester we have worked to build. Worcester deserves better. We are in a David and Goliath battle and we need many voices to be loud and clear: Vote No Slots!

  5. Deb Cary

    April 12, 2013

    We can come up with a much better plan for the Wyman Gordon site. Slots gambling is a terrible way to make money- this would be a very wrong turn for Worcester to take. Please come to City Hall and make your feelings known. Come on Weds April 17th, meeting starts at 7 but arrive early and come on Tues. April 23rd – come early!

  6. joe pagano

    April 12, 2013

    Someone said to me that this issue is going to polarize the city. I disagree. I think it’s bringing the community together. Citizens who lean left are agreeing with citizens who lean right. Young and old, east side, north side, west side, south side. It’s exciting to witness. VoteNoSlots!

  7. Kathleen Pagano

    April 13, 2013

    Worcester is rebuilding. Our downtown is being revitalized. We’re moving in the right direction. Bringing a slots parlor to downtown is a step backwards. We need our City Councilors to market our great city and present us with BETTER job- and tax revenue-generating opportunities!

    Maybe we need to establish a commission of business leaders to propose ideas for making Worcester more business-friendly and attracting new business? Other cities have done it – so can we!

  8. Jim McElhiney

    April 14, 2013

    First Worcester is a great city! However too many have a Golden Goose mentality. They think the key to adequate tax revenues is getting the next big business to come to town. Be it a new hotel, mall, theater, hospital, or heaven help us a gambling establishment.

    Yes commercial development is essential but it is the cart not the horse. The horse, that is the real key to a vibrant and prosperous Worcester is enforced laws, (including traffic laws), that result in safe neighborhoods along with clean streets and parks, a decent public transportation system and great schools.

    The hard working tax payers are given the same old song and dance. The lament that the city does not have enough tax revenues to hire enough police to enforce the laws or enough city workers to clean the streets and parks, or enough to pay for schools and teachers so we need to attract one more Golden Goose.

    You will never have enough money in the coffers to hire enough police or city workers if you keep giving them outrageous salaries that only allow you to hire less than you need. It’s the monkey chasing its tail around the flagpole. There are many jobs paid for by tax dollars that could be done by a youth core, college students and others in the private sector. You have to simply stop overpaying city employees and allowing them to do so much skating. Anyone remember the enterprise the City Clerk was allowed to run on the tax payers dime year after year while they were laying off people in his department? The money that is shelled out to public employees in this city in exchange for the amount of work they accomplish is an example of a spendthrift mentality.

    Was nothing learned from the Galleria and Fashion Outlets? What was the stigma there? I lived outside the city during the Galleria infancy. I even came to see Frank Sinatra open the Centrum. I recall the perception was “Go shop in Worcester and get mugged or assaulted in the parking garage”. Slots attract crime and do more harm than good. The city cannot even do a decent job of enforcing something as simple as traffic laws. Red lights, stop signs, and speed limits mean nothing at all for many motorists in my neighborhood. If they can’t do something a simple as effectively enforcing traffic laws how are they going to handle the big increase in crime gambling brings?

    All the great cities in our nation are places people want first and foremost to live in and start small businesses. Stop looking for the next Golden Goose to come lay its golden eggs and cause the city coffers to overflow. We already have a city full of Golden Gooses. They are not the answer.

    Look at the low quality of life, crashed housing market, and staggering unemployment in Vegas and Atlantic City. Need I say more?

  9. Marianne Bergenholtz

    April 14, 2013

    Bravo for Connie Lukes. She shows true leadership here. Shame on the rest of the City Councillors. Another dodge from their leadership responsibilities. If they really want to hear from the citizens, why have the public hearing changed to AFTER their vote.

  10. sister connie

    April 15, 2013

    Pernet is hosting a gathering to listen to Green Island residents: Do WE want a slot parlor in our neighbiorhood? The slot parlor proposed will have an immediate and long-ranging impact on GI. Come make your voice heard. Thursday, April 18, 4 PM at 237 Millbury St.

  11. Jae Hahn

    April 15, 2013

    I’m a young adult living in downtown Worcester. A slots parlor will do no good to our city. We need healthy and reliable entertainment!

  12. Ruth Seward, Worc Resident

    April 16, 2013

    Visit Atlantic City, NJ if you want a peek at how gambling institutions destroy a community. The proposed slot parlor for Worcester amounts to a short term money infusion with long term negative consequences for our community to deal with. If Worcester really is interested in improving its self imageand its community – we need to keep out the slot parlor.

  13. Jack J. Reiff

    April 16, 2013

    I wear my NO SLOTS sign proudly.

    Several years ago when I was a Business Major student at Worcester State College (University now) we were presented with a clsass project on the investigation of Atlantic Cities efforts to open the area to Gambling. This project included many interviews and associated studies about the projected impact and benefit asdpects that Gambling would bring to Atlantic City. Very few promises were initiated. Getting rid of slum areas, adding more open spaces through additional and improved parks, more Police protection to rid the area of prostitution, better jobs, improved work environment and higher salaries without bringing in outside workers and much more never came to be.

    The areas around Atlantic City are still run down, employment is not that high, labor rates (income) is still minimal and job turnover is high.

    Slots, in my opinion, became a virus or infestation of the BAD overpowering the projected benefits.

  14. David Schaefer

    April 18, 2013

    The poll conducted last week on behalf of would-be slots developer Rush Street Entertainment that supposedly showed a majority of Worcesterites favoring the proposal was thoroughly misleading. The problem is that the pollsters “balanced” some of the strong arguments against the slots casino – such as its deleterious effects on the poor and on local businesses, as well as its contribution to increased gambling addiction, crime, bankruptcy, family breakup, and suicide – with specious arguments in favor of the casino (notably the ridiculous claim that it will spin off “tens of millions” of dollars into the local economy “without costing taxpayers a dime”).

    Naturally, plenty of those polled were apparently persuaded by the latter claim – who wants to turn down “free” money? But there is no reason to expect a slots casino to generate significant funds for the Worcester economy at all. Once the casino is built, nearly all the jobs it provides will be low-wage ones (cashiers, cocktail waitresses). Almost all the money spent in the casinos will be funds that would otherwise have been spent at other, legitimate local businesses (which as a result of the casino will have to cut back on their employment. So much for those “new” jobs.).

    Based on its track record elsewhere, Rush Street will hire high-priced lawyers to lower its tax assessment each year. Most of the receipts from the casinos will go to line the pockets of Rush Street’s out-of-town owners. And the sheer economic costs to local taxpayers – in responding to the increase in crime, family breakup, bankruptcy, alcoholism, and other social pathologies, as well as ruining our community’s image in the eyes of other potential businesses and residents, including families of prospective college students – will be considerable. Casino mogul Neil Bluhm’s gain, our loss.
    There is an old saying in the computer business that applies to polls as well: garbage in, garbage out. The firm that conducted the poll for Rush Street loaded the dice with phony information and got the results it wanted. The goal of VoteNoSlots, along with our allies among local nonprofits, businesses, professionals, clergy, public officials, and academics, is to get the facts out. Even if the City Council is deluded enough by Rush Street’s false promises to endorse the slots casino, we have every reason to hope that an enlightened populace will reject it and save our city.

    David Lewis Schaefer, Professor of Political Science, Holy Cross College

  15. Iris Chase

    April 20, 2013

    A Casino town will drive out families like us who simply refuse to live with the inevitable crime, drugs, prostitution and addiction that comes with gambling, not to mention plummeting property values. Worcester should focus on bolstering the BioTech, not ruin its residents with an insidious, parasitic casino.

    • Deb Cary

      May 6, 2013

      Hi Iris- thanks so much for speaking out- I agree with you totally! Deb Cary

  16. Karen

    April 20, 2013

    It is very important to the integrity of Worcester to not have the slot parlors. That will bring in a bad group of people with many problems that Worcester does not need.

  17. Ed Moynihan

    April 20, 2013

    The slot parlor does not represent economic development. It represents economic surrender. It will transfer money out of our neighborhoods and our city to Chicago. The surrounding neighborhood will become a ghost town as more and more businesses go out of business. Empty store fronts are an invitation to vandalism. Finally, slots do no represent a positive, forward thinking vision of this city. We deserve better.

  18. Mlenya Johannsen

    April 20, 2013

    If a slots casino is allowed to come into the city, the healthy Worcester revitalization that is taking place now will be seriously compromised. Slots and gambling are seedy, degenerate activities that bring all kinds of criminal elements into a community. Stand up now with a unified voice against these big money bosses, who have no interest in the health of the community and just want to separate the last buck from the working poor and move on.

  19. Paula Sommer

    April 21, 2013

    My sister was a social worker in Atlantic City. When the casinos opened there, she was dealing with the new gambling addictions and broken families; she found no positive result from bringing casinos to this resort city. We are a college town. Let’s continue to invest in education and biotech, so that students would like to work and settle here after graduation. Slots will give us nothing positive.

  20. Bill Marshall

    April 22, 2013

    I recently learned of the proposal before the City Council to bring a slot casino to Worcester. I believe over the medium to long term, a slot casino would be very detrimental to the broader community.

    I understand that Worcester like so many other cities across the country are facing the challenges of slow economic growth and revenues not keeping pace with rising costs. Then along comes someone who says I have the answer; Slots. It is enticing, but little more than a siren song for a city starved for revenue and looking for a quick fix, not a long term solution.

    The real answer to Worcester’s challenge requires vision, leadership and lots of energy. I believe Worcester has made more progress than most in transforming its economy from old line manufacturing to a more knowledge based economy over the last 25 years or more. Witness UMass Medical school and all the spin off in scientific research, the Bio Med Park and WPI’s Gateway Park all promoting Life Sciences, Biomedical and engineering research and development. Add to that the investments in downtown like City Square or the Hanover Theater which are positive steps forward. The educational community has been one of the most significant underpinnings of the local economy. Taken together, Worcester area colleges, with WPI at the forefront, have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure over the last decade. This is the kind of development that is the answer for Worcester now and in the future. It takes a shared vision, real political and community leadership, along with lots of commitment and energy.

    When one compares the short term quick fix proposed by slots with the long term social costs in terms of individuals, families, neighborhoods, and entire communities, you would never agreed to bring slots to your city. Needless to say, there is plenty of academic and other research to support the negative impact slots have had on communities. The only winners include the “House” and the host of “consultants” paid to promote the idea.

    I believe the colleges have a vested interest in taking a position on this issue. I realize it is much easier to remain on the sideline, especially when friends of the colleges are promoting the idea. To most people, bringing slots to Worcester would be a clear signal that the city and it’s leadership, has given up on itself.

    Respectfully,

    Bill Marshall

  21. Benito

    April 22, 2013

    Coming out in support on the “NO SLOTS IN WORCESTER” is a must… I am all for job growth and creation as well as for economic growth. but as much as we are need of more jobs in Worcester, we also need to view the fact that at what COST will these jobs be created?
    Taking into account how much crime, homelessness, drug addiction, kids going to bed hungry and the many other damages will spike if these Slots are created and or allowed in our City. I am also sure that there will be a counter argument stating that the public safety officials will keep things under control and so forth, but are they?
    Weren’t there some crying and or concern of the lack of funding or man power for community policing for LIMITED hours when we had that time when violent crimes spike for two weeks in our CITY?
    How are they going to come up with some extra funding to control the spike in crime when it DOES come? That won’t be for a couple of hours that will need to be around the clock. also who are they going to blame? And the funny part is the location where they are looking to develop this place, isn’t that already an area of concern and also the surrounding areas that are already under scrutiny. Why are they even thinking of putting this thing right in the middle of all the low income communities? Come on…. Another form of keeping that vicious cycle going..

  22. Nancy Alexanian

    May 3, 2013

    Take a look around the city and the sidewalks. Take a look at all of the lottery tickets that litter this city! Take a look a who is littering this city with these tickets – people who can’t even afford their food!
    Take a look at Kelly Square! We already have a wonderful thing going on there with the Canal District. The traffic is already an obstruction on 290. Gambling slots in Worcester means tempting more people to gamble with money they may not have.
    As for the city itself, imagine a Gambling Parlor in this city? A Gambling Parlor? Rather than focus on a Gambling Parlor, lets try for an Airport that works!

    NO ADDICTIONS NEEDED! WE HAVE ENOUGH! LOOK ON THE GROUND BEFORE YOU WALK INTO THE STORES THAT SELL LOTTERY TICKETS!

  23. Honee A. Hess

    May 3, 2013

    Have you ever watched people playing slots? It taps into a biological urge and need for stimulation through doing nothing while becoming addicted. There is NOTHING productive about slots–its a waste of human resources, environmental resources, psychological resources and it would be denigrating to all the time and effort the city has put into economic development downtown. Let’s do something productive instead. NO SLOTS HERE.

  24. David Schaefer

    May 5, 2013

    As the Telegram and Gazette notes (April 5, 2013), a growing number of states are moving to legalize online gambling as a revenue source. Treasurer Steve Grossman is pushing for this to be done in MA. (But even if it isn’t legalized here, there’s no way that MA can stop its residents from accessing legal online sites in other states.)

    While every expansion of gambling opportunities tends to hurt those least able to afford it, Internet gambling has not been shown to have quite the addictive properties of electronic slot machines. What IS noteworthy about this new development, from Worcester’s point of view, however, is the fact that expanded online gambling will FURTHER CUT INTO the REVENUES (and hence the tax revenues) to be expected from a slots parlor.

    From the standpoint of Rush Street Gaming, the would-be developers of a slots parlor in Worcester, this is apparently not a problem: once revenues start to dry up, they can always DEFAULT on their mortgage – as they have already done elsewhere. This will leave Worcester holding the bag, however – with a vacant slots parlor to be torn down, at probably far greater cost than entailed for simply finding a better use for the abandoned Wyman-Gordon property in the first place. (What possible use could be found for an empty slots parlor?)

    And as for that supposed “luxury hotel” to be financed by revenues from the slots parlor: FUHGEDDABOUTIT!

    Just one more reason for Worcesterites not to be fooled. The city manager should reject whatever specious proposal Rush Street puts forward. But if it comes down to a popular referendum: VOTE NO SLOTS!!!

    David Lewis Schaefer
    Professor of Political Science
    Holy Cross College

  25. Keith Rexford

    May 8, 2013

    why are you so against this going to a city vote?if it goes and it shot down great.But the voters of worcester and only the voters of worcester should have the final decision.and it should go to a vote.

  26. Mike Duong

    May 13, 2013

    Allowing a slots parlor in Worcester is a sign that we’ve giving up on our city’s future. Downtown is revitalizing – we are not desperate.

  27. Nancy Alexanian

    May 21, 2013

    Worcester has enough SLUM & ABSENTEE Landlords! Let this finally evolving city to its people!

  28. Steve Marx

    May 21, 2013

    The fact that the head of the American Gaming Association would not want a casino in his neighborhood ought to tell you all you need to know. Kudos to all who are not giving up on Worcester, who are fighting the slots.

  29. ghostinthemachine

    August 18, 2013

    Millbury doesn’t want and doesn’t need this casino in its future. It will point the town in the opposite direction it needs to go to thrive in the 21st century. Casino’s are old news and nothing more than ever-failing attempts to stimulate the long-term economy. People of Millbury, read this great website that Worcester is helping us with! This is the time for Central Mass to grow responsibly with real business, new housing, improving schools, and a real long-term viable economy. There have been many people from this region that have changed the world and contributed much to society. Our children are next line to do so. Don’t stifle their world with casino gambling and all of it’s social and economic ills in their backyard. Keep these things in Vegas and leave it at that. This is bad for Millbury, Worcester, Massachusetts, and as our forefathers found out after the civil war, bad for the entire country. Vote “no” on September 24th so we can get back to business!

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