"The industry is notorious for broken promises.”
- Sue Tucker, Former Mass State Senator, addressing the residents of Foxboro, Mass, as they considered allowing a casino into their town.(Source)
What Hard Rock is not telling you, and what we can really expect from a casino:
A casino in Springfield will cause traffic congestion on I-91 and streets in Springfield.
A casino in Palmer may cause a traffic backup on the Mass Pike.
A casino in West Springfield will cause traffic congestion on Route 5, the Memorial Bridge, the South End Bridge, Memorial Avenue, the Morgan-Sullivan Bridge from Agawam, and many side streets and residential streets throughout West Springfield. There is no easy way right off the highway to get to the Big E. We will all suffer from the traffic.
More drivers means more drunk drivers, and more traffic accidents, plain and simple. Carol Matsumoto lives in Connecticut between the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Casinos. Since the casinos opened there, over forty people have driven their cars into the stone wall that separates her house from the road. She said, “Most of the people that hit our wall are asleep. They go into the casinos. They might play for 24 hours, 36 hours. There’s extra oxygen in the casinos. They come out. They get in their car. They fall asleep.”
When Hard Rock’s Jim Allen spoke to West Springfield residents at the middle school on the evening of July 31, he addressed the issue of crime. He said that there would be security cameras and security guards with radios throughout the casino in order to prevent crime. Really, Jim? Thanks, but our concern is with crime in our neighborhoods, not crime at your casino.
Economist David B. Mustard and Earl L. Grinols of Baylor University analyzed crime data collected from all 3,165 U.S. counties in the United States from 1977 to 1996 and looked at local crime rates before and after casinos opened. What they discovered was that that crime rates didn't increase when a casino first opened - but did start to rise slowly during the first year of operation, then more quickly until it was greater than before the casino was built. After five years:
robberies were up 136%
aggravated assaults 91%
auto theft 78%
(Source) Susan Mendenhall, former mayor of Ledyard, CT (home of Foxwoods), put it this way: “The drugs, the guns, the prostitution. It just follows the money and people don’t want to talk about it. Our sleepy little town did not have this kind of problem, but it’s everywhere now. It’s been so painful for us.”(Source)
Reduced Property Values:
According to a study prepared by economists at the National Association of Realtors at the request of the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley, the impact of casinos on a housing market is “unambiguously negative.” Homeowners in the host community, whether it be West Springfield, Springfield, or Palmer, will lose 1.1 to 2.3 percent in home value, costing individual homeowners from $1650 to $3300 in lost value, and resulting in a collective lost value of $64 million to $128 million.
Don’t believe the false promises and misinformation of a billion dollar corporation that wants to move in and take control of our town, changing its character forever.
Don’t believe that “we will get all the impacts and none of the benefits if there is a casino in Springfield, so we might as well have it here.” The fact is, the closer the casino is to us, the more damage it is going to do to us.
Slot Machines: The Big Gamble - 60 Minutes
Take a few minutes to watch this video from Foxboro and you won't want a casino in your community.
CEO of the American Gaming Association admits he'd fight to keep a casino out of his community.
CONTACT US! Ph: 413-366-1520. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail/send donations: PO Box 747, West Springfield, MA 01090-0747