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Left In Lowell » Blog Archive » Wonderland Closing

Left In Lowell

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August 19, 2010

Wonderland Closing

by at 12:54 pm.

And it’s about time. Without dogs to abuse, and with slots at racetracks dead, the Revere track has decided to go out of business.

This Sun article overemphasizes the positives of the closing track (the jobs left there, its long glorious history as a place to break the delicate bones of greyhounds, etc). I do feel bad for the 100 people losing their jobs as I would any workers in any industry, but the idea of putting the welfare of 100 people in largely low-wage jobs ahead of the welfare of the thousands in the area who could potentially become addicted to slots (and commit crimes to feed their disease, and the victims of the crimes…etc etc) and the welfare of our Commonwealth, is, well, a bit disingenuous.

Maybe these 100 people could be better put to work to redeveloping that prime real estate, and into jobs that are created once that land has been put to other use.

4 Responses to “Wonderland Closing”

  1. Big Dog Says:


    I have to say that although I’m not in favor of dog’s bones being broken, I am in favor of slots…racesinos and anything else that will bring in more revenue to the state. The positive fiscal impacts of casinos are the revenues they generate for government by paying special taxes on gaming revenues, the payment of licensing fees by the casino and casino employees, property taxes, personal income tax payments by casino employees, and indirect tax payments stimulated by non-gaming casino operations, such as room occupancy, meals, and retail sales taxes, as well as the potential social savings from lower welfare and unemployment insurance rolls. If these costs are less than the revenue generated, then even after incurring these costs, there is still a positive fiscal impact. If costs are more than the revenue generated, only then can one say there is a negative fiscal impact.

    Fact is that there is an unresolved philosophical question about the extent to which gambling addiction should be viewed as an ‘individual’ loss or behavioral problem, rather than a ‘social’ cost that should be compensated by society. There is also a great deal of controversy in the medical and psychological communities as to whether gambling is a physical addiction rooted in brain chemistry or a behavioral problem. It is also not clear whether problem gambling is ‘caused’ by the mere proximity of casinos or whether problem gambling is the effect of other underlying causes such as depression.

    All in all….bring them on and let’s get out of this financial mess we’re in!

  2. Maggie Says:

    I’ve always thought dog racing was cruel and even more so when they simply used to put the losers down. I am not a gambler and would never go - but would love to see racinos . Despite what some people say, I believe they would provide income and much needed jobs to the state and why not keep it here. If people are going to gamble - they are going to gamble and they are going to go where it is available. It would be nice if the casino issue comes up again with the next session and a real resolution is reached.

  3. waittilnextyr Says:

    There is only so much money around, and casinos and racinos do nothing to generate any wealth. So what goes in there comes from some place else in the economy. Only as an alternative to spending the same money in CT and RI does it make any sense at all, and not much at that.

  4. Lynne Says:

    “Fact is that there is an unresolved philosophical question”

    There is an unresolved PRACTICAL question - do slots/casinos bring in more revenue than they suck up in: a) closed businesses/entertainment venues/reduced revenue from sales/income tax, b) addiction service costs, c) courts and police costs from increased crime and prosecution of such, and d) a new department dedicated to watching over the new gaming industry (itself costing millions!).

    There is only so much pie. Casinos/slots suck up money from the economy and produce nothing of use. For every dollar spent in a casino is a dollar not spent on local restaurants, movies, toys, clothes, cars, and in the worst cases, mortgages and food.

    Simple math. If it sounds too good to be true (free state revenue! JOBS! WHOO HOO!) it probably is.

    That’s the discussion that the state legislature and Gov. Patrick are not even willing to entertain, and I find that disgusting. The fallout from casinos is years, maybe a decade down the line, and it’s like kicking the can down the road - gambling, as it were, that the state, and its economy, will come out ahead. Sort of like the Big Dig funding mechanism that Baker had a hand in, actually.

    Studying other states, that is definitely NOT the case. The worst budget deficits were in states with casinos.

    “also not clear whether problem gambling is ‘caused’ by the mere proximity of casinos”

    Wrong! Sorry. It’s pretty clear.

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