Brockton Residents Approve Casino

th (11)Sounds good, right – Brockton approves casino!  But here’s the rest of the story….

Out of the entire city of Brockton, 30% voted, and the casino proposal was approved by 143 votes – 7,163 to 7,020.  Not really an overwhelming  acceptance of the project.! And according to Philip Marcelo of the Tri-City Herald, anti-casino activists said Wednesday they may request a recount after Brockton voters narrowly approved a $650 million resort casino proposed for the Brockton Fairgrounds, “saying casino opponents took pride in the narrow loss.”  Isabel Lopez, an organizer for the Brockton Interfaith Community, said ” “It means a lot….This was just a volunteer effort. The people that were for the casino spent more than a million dollars in advertising.”

The Brockton casino is competing with projects in New Bedford and Somerset for the license reserved for the state’s southeast region, Region C.  And even though Brockton is one step ahead of both in the process, 143 votes shouldn’t be the great sign of approval that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is looking for.

Brockton High School - a Mammoth Facilty

Brockton High School

Opponents of a Brockton casino held signs and chanted outside the polling place at Brockton’s West Middle School. One of their key objections was that the proposed site for the new casino is directly across the street from the entrance to the city’s high school.

But according to WGBH reported Craig Lemoult, there are those that are just as much in favor, siting the positive aspects of the project.  Revitalizing the community, bringing a lot of jobs (Casino-backers are promising 1,500 jobs with hiring preference in the city if the casino is built,) & outsiders into the community to support other businesses are resident hopes for the future.

Jobs, especially construction at first, then low-level service industry jobs, are a plus.  But, as numerous places around the country, few casinos bring in business to support the surrounding establishments.  Unless the casino is part of resort, as a destination (and even then it’s not a sure thing – ask CT.), gamblers are in & out.  They are far apt to dine, buy retail, and entertain themselves IN the casino, not spend time basking in what the city outside has to offer.

In any event, congrats, I guess, to Brockton.  Now it’s time to sell this proposal to the MGC.

That’s all for now.



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