Our Big Gamble Is Coming Up Short

dice casino gambling generic

(Getty Images/Duncan Nicholls and Simon Webb)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Massachusetts resisted the rush into legalized casino-style gambling for decades. 

And when we finally approved casions, it was done grudgingly, with all sorts of restrictions and slow-walking bureaucracy that reflected our ambivalence over whether or not it was a good idea.

Here we are, seven years later, and this forced marriage is limping forward in predictable fashion. 

The state’s gambling enthusiasts love it, no question – they’re printing money at the new casino in Springfield, and the Plainridge slot parlor has also done well.

But, apparently, not well enough.

The Globe reports that aggressive moves by the Rhode Island gambling industry – the introduction of table games at Twin River and the construction of another casino in Tiverton, a short drive from the Mass border – are squeezing Plainridge to the point where officials of the surrounding towns are now pushing for the state Gaming Commission to allow table games there. The chairman of the Plainville Board of Selectmen claims the constraints on Plainridge “create a considerable disadvantage…and has already impacted revenues and may risk jobs.”

But if Plainridge becomes a real casino, what happens to the notion of another full casino in Southeastern Mass, run by a Native-American tribe or anyone else? 

If we ever do license and build one, won’t it be opening into a glutted market?

And what types of changes in the law will Springfield and the non-Wynn Everett casino want when their business models are challenged?

We were told casino gambling would be a license to print money. 

Leave it to Massachusetts to find a way to foul up the printing presses.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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