Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Only Casino that will be built in Massachusetts

It’s nice that the Governor divided up the state into three regions for a casino. The problem is that nobody is attracted to Southeastern or Western Massachusetts if they are coming to gamble in a casino that meets the grand visions of all of us. Sorry, I don’t want to drive to Brimfield and play blackjack in a cornfield. And I don’t care if there are fifteen 5-star restaurants on the site. I don’t want to drive by abandoned warehouses and play roulette in the equivalent of Massachusetts’ Atlantic City in Fall River.

This leaves 2 options: Foxboro and Boston. I love the Pats, think the Kraft family has been an extraordinary citizen of the state, but I don’t want to drive down route 1 south, pass the 16 liquor stores and turn into a “world class” casino.

We are all forgetting one thing. A casino unto itself does not make the casino “world class” or even desirable. Casinos need access for very impatient customers and they need amenities unique to their location. Remember, we are not talking about 25 casinos along a strip in Las Vegas. Suffolk is a 10 minute van ride from Logan (not sure where the airport is in Brimfield). When your significant other wants to explore the neighborhood, I think he or she might prefer the 10 minute bus ride to Faneuil Hall than the footbridge adventure into Patriot Place. I truly have no idea where one goes if one goes outside at all in Fall River or Brimfield.

Do we want a world class casino? Then put it in a world class city. I can hear western Mass. complaining already. “We’ll depend on New England visitors!” No, not if there is a more exciting choice. Isn’t that what casinos are all about? Excitement. And nobody from Chicago’s flying in to gamble in Fall River. And no businessmen in Boston are going to drive 2 hours to hit the cornfields of Brimfield.

Further, once Suffolk is chosen, there will be no other casinos in the state. They can’t compete and they won’t compete. Look at what they’d be up against. Where would you go to play?

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