Keller @ Large: Can Gambling Bill Deliver On Promise Of New Jobs?

BOSTON (CBS) – The gambling bill promises to provide thousands of jobs across Massachusetts.

But can that promise be kept?

“In the short term there will be abundant jobs,” says Professor Richard McGowan of Boston College.

He is one of the nation’s leading experts on the gambling industry. He acknowledges that casinos will be a good deal for the workers who build them and the staffers who run them.

WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller Is At Large

“But there will also be cannibalization of other industries, other forms of entertainment will be cannibalized,” he says.

OK. But in the long term, will casinos provide net job growth, as its proponents claim?

“That all depends on whether the casino is successful or not, and right now if you went down to Atlantic City you’d see how many people are being laid off because Pennsylvania has put casinos in.”

What about Connecticut, which enjoyed a casino job boom in the early ’90s?

“They did very well for around 10-12 years while they had a monopoly. Now they’re not gonna have a monopoly and they’re being hurt and they’re cutting back all over the place.”

And with New Hampshire mulling a casino on our border at Rockingham Park, you wonder how that might impact our job gains.

But there’s no question, the Commonwealth will enjoy an immediate revenue windfall. Won’t that help the state create new jobs as well?

So the bottom line is, yes, the casino bill will create new jobs, in construction short-term, and inside the venues once they open a few years down the road. But will they be lasting, and competition proof? That appears to be a much riskier bet.

More from Jon Keller
  • 1brickshyofaload

    Casino gambling, what a business! Where else is money being made giving people nothing for something? Oh yeah, I forgot, lottery tickets that’s where.

  • StanleyRamon

    What business is lasting and competition proof?

    • Ah, ah...


  • emom

    I see this as an opportunity to give jobs and huge revenues to this state, Will it work , sure it will at least for a few years , then like the honeymoon it fades out and then the competition of KEEPING you interested to come back happens. With all the casino’s across the country they do very well,,, However with an economy on the brink, and families looking to SAVE $$$$$, Having STAY-CATIONS , and looking for a bargain where ever they can , I see having a casino here in this state will not only bring customers in that LIVE in this state, because its in there back yards and so close to home, but it’s a new place to go to and others will come and see what it has,,, Massachusetts folks will like it because of the job factor and revenue along with they will save a lot of money because they will not have to spend a lot to travel to another state, rent a car, get plane tickets or a hotel ,,,, We can just hop on the highway and be there in a few hours or less and go home ,, But if we want we can stay in a hotel then go back home the next day.. I see it as a WIN WIN for both state and the people of this state,, huge savings & huge revenues .. Oh and many from out of state will come for a lone time to see just what’s the buzz about our casino,,, after all,, When we hear of a NEW casino opening ,, we flock to it try it out and if we like it we go back,, SO NOW HOW ABOUT JUST BUILD THE THING AND CREATE JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, AND PLENTY OF REVENUE for this state….

  • gigi

    I am in favor of the casinos. I think the upfront construction people will get the jobs needed to build or renovate, the 24/7 staffing will lend jobs to waitresses, bartenders, workers on the tables, housekeeping, and upkeep on the building (hvac/plumbers/etc.) – and this is three shifts so x 3 buildings, that a bunch of people! I agree with others who say that casinos alone wont KEEP the people, you have to offer more; great shows, restaurants, and sleeping accomodations. If the state wants to half-bum it, it will fail before it starts. As for taking money and customers away from other areas, I disagree with that also. I dont go to the CT casino’s more than once a year just for a change of entertainment, and given a choice between spending my money at a local theatre for a show (hanover ex.) or local casino, if the theatre has stinky shows, I wouldnt go anyway so the point is mute. The people who are doing the gambling in CT and supportiing their facilities will do so, why not have them do it locally?

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