Casinos’ slipping fortunes
It seems like eons ago that Bob DeLeo was extolling his casino bill (insisting on calling it a “jobs bill”), Deval Patrick was waxing rhapsodic about something called a “destination resort casino” (which was said to be wholly different than a plain vanilla casino), and everyone was giddy about all the money the state would be raking in without asking taxpayers to fork over involuntarily (through taxes) a nickel more of their hard-earned money.
“Hyperbole was always part of the pitch,” writes Joan Vennochi in yesterday’s Globe. “But today, the rosiest projections seem ever more fanciful. Just as Massachusetts starts to bank on the money, the glitter is wearing off the industry.”
The Bay State’s market timing when it comes to casinos looks like it couldn’t be worse. Venocchi ticks off the dismal developments, including the closure of four of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos, woes for gambling spots in West Virginia and Delaware, and, perhaps most ominously, “double-digit declines” in slots revenues at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.
Last month, even before the latest Atlantic City closure announcements, the CEO of Foxwoods told The Wall Street Journal, “There is dramatic oversupply in the industry right now.”
None of this seems to have fully caught up with the casino debate in Massachusetts, which will get a full airing with a ballot question this fall asking voters whether they want to repeal the state’s casino law. But it is inevitable that the tough times for casinos will eventually move front and center into the debate, and that certainly won’t help the odds of the casino companies looking to land here and their local backers.
“Despite growing evidence to the contrary, Massachusetts still thinks of casinos as a growth industry,” writes Vennochi. “Maybe they were 20 years ago. But today, starting up the casino industry in Massachusetts feels like starting up Wang Laboratories in the age of Google.”
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Worcester is plagued by zombie properties, homes that are left vacant as they make their way slowly through the foreclosure process, the Telegram & Gazette reports.
Wampanoag chief has mixed feelings about a casino, the Associated Press reports.
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Weird fallout continues from the recent Republican US Senate primary in Mississippi, where black voters helped save incumbent Thad Cochran, a guy most black Mississippians have had pretty little affection for.
Polls point to deep problems for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley, the state’s attorney general, CommonWealth reports.
Another candidate — a Marblehead businessman running as an independent — jumps into the race against US Rep. John Tierney.
The fight over control of the Demoulas Supermarkets chain spilled over into stores as worker protests stalled food deliveries, the Eagle-Tribune reports. Eight Demoulas employees who have been part of the protests are fired, the Globe reports.
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State officials are redoubling efforts to promote “dual enrollment” courses that let high school students earn college credits.
President Obama’s visit to Worcester Technical High School last month cost $186,000, the Telegram & Gazette reports.
Security cameras are being installed on all school buses in Boston.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker wants to ditch the Common Core education standards, the latest Republican presidential aspirant to give a thumbs down to the testing system, Time reports.
Paul Levy posts his comment to Judge Janet Sanders about the consent agreement between Partners HealthCare and Attorney General Martha Coakley.
The new no-cash Tobin Bridge toll system is activated, the Associated Press reports.
Environmentalists want to use $20 million included in a bond bill for buying back homes along the state’s shores, the Salem News reports. Meanwhile, others want to use state funds to kill white-tailed deer in the Blue Hills and on Cape Cod because there are too many of them.
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