Reporting Jon Keller
Filed underBlogs, CBS Boston Blogs, Heard On WBZ NewsRadio 1030, Keller @ Large, Local, News, Politics, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
BOSTON (CBS) – I am not much of a gambler.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
If the lottery jackpot gets over $100 million, I will usually buy a ticket, just for the fun of day-dreaming about what I’d do with the proceeds.
I have been to the two Connecticut casinos once each, to see a concert at Foxwoods and watch my poker-playing son compete in a tournament at Mohegan Sun.
And that’s about it.
My observation is that most of the people I see gambling at the casinos do not look like they’re having much fun, and do not much resemble the sleek-looking party people you see in the TV ads.
But last year in the legislature, the argument that whatever the downside of casino gambling, we are desperate for new jobs and revenue here and can no longer afford to see both siphoned off by Connecticut, finally held sway.
And that’s the main reason why I suspect the casino proposal unveiled yesterday by the owners of Suffolk Downs and Caesars Entertainment is likely to win approval from the neighboring communities when they vote on it later this year.
Unlike Foxboro, Freetown and Lakeville, three towns that have recently voted down casino proposals, it’s hard to make the case that a Suffolk Downs casino will fundamentally change the nature of the community.
The racetrack has been there for decades. The surrounding area could use a makeover. And it’s hard to believe that the clientele of the sub shops and sports bars near the site will suddenly abandon their haunts for the higher-priced offerings of the new complex.
Meanwhile, the Suffolk casino will save the jobs of many people who already work there, and create temporary and permanent jobs for many others with ties to the neighborhoods.
Yes, some will fear the change, and abutters who may be impacted by noise, traffic and crime deserve to be fully compensated.
But just as real estate is all about location, location, and location, so is casino siting.
The neighbors of Suffolk Downs will be heard, and I’d be surprised if they wind up saying no.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.