Monday, April 30, 2012

Wampa World Water – Can Taunton fill the need?

Unlike other proposed casino complexes in Massachusetts, the recently unveiled plans for Taunton present a significantly different environmental impact profile.  Mashpee Wampanoag council chair Cedric "Pay no Taxes" Cromwell promises a massive indoor and outdoor water park along side of his planned casino resort complex with three hotels (nearly 1,000 rooms) multiple  restaurants, bars, a “New Hampshire style” liquor store and shopping mall.    

The Wampanoag claim they have an environmental impact study underway; however, residents are being asked to vote on the casino issue and the town is negotiating a compact before that study will be made available and the potential cost burdens this Indian reservation casino resort complex will have on the area's infrastructure and environment.  The impact of this resort casino, hotels, restaurants and water park on local water use and treatment alone will be huge for Bristol County.

According to the latest state government report, Southeastern Massachusetts is under “severe drought” conditions.  Bristol County residents have been under water use restrictions each summer for several years now.   How will Cathal O’Brian and Taunton Water address this new demand?   What will the burden be on infrastructure for treating the casino’s waste water?  How will this new draw impact neighboring communities who share our water sources needs?  

While any potential agreement between the City of Taunton and the Mashpee Wampanoag must fully account for water use and treatment costs, other factors also need to be included: the neighboring communities’ costs, risks to local firefighting capacity, environmental impacts and additional water restriction burdens on the people in the region should be equally addressed.

According to industry standards, hotels typically use between 36,000 and 73,000 gallons of water per room/year.  So, Cedric’s three hotels alone could draw down 66 million gallons of Taunton-area water.   Hotel & Leisure Advisors reports that a typical indoor only (Cedric promises and indoor and outdoor water park) park requires 50 million gallons to fill, then uses between 125,000 and 160,000 gallons per day (that’s 46 to 58 million gallons per year).   Using standard calculations for casino, restaurant, bar and shopping space water usage the proposed Wampanoag gaming complex, bars and restaurants would conservatively use another 200,000 gallons of water per day or 74 million gallons per year.

The combined annual water draw down from the area’s water supplies and corresponding waste water output from the Taunton Wampanoag casino resort complex would be in excess of 250 million gallons per year.   To put that into context, the average single family household of four uses 60, 000 gallons per year – thus the casino will have the water impact of adding another 4,000 single family homes.

The City of Taunton, Massachusetts draws its drinking water from six reservoirs: Assowampsett; Elders; Long; Poksha; Great Quittacas; and Little Quittacas.  Taunton shares this water with Lakeville, Middleborough, Freetown and Rochester.  The Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs report on Sustainable Water Initiatives, published in February 2012, details the water challenges for the state and for Taunton.  This report, coupled with the current "severe drought" status of the region, spells out real challenges for Bristol County with the proposed Indian casino resort complex.

To ensure regional, not just Taunton residents, aren’t unfairly penalized for the infrastructure costs and new water demands that will stretch the region’s already limited capacity the City should review and revise their commercial water rate schedule for this project, as even a high commercial rate of $10 per 1,000 gallons will not likely cover the resulting costs.  Other commercial rate payers also pay state and local taxes which are used to support area infrastructure – the Indian reservation casino complex will pay no such taxes and their utility rates should reflect that disparity.

Finally, what assurances will Taunton have that the Wampanoag casino will be able to pay increasing water and other utility costs when other established Indian casinos in our region are now in massive debt and tribe members are seeking assistance to pay their utility bills?  Does anyone really think an Indian casino in Massachusetts will be any different.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Amazing video testimony on impact of casinos

Over promising and under delivering.  This video produced by concerned citizens in Foxboro, MA and it provides firsthand accounts from Connecticut residents of the impacts of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Indian casinos on their small New England towns.

The local Connecticut communities bordering the casinos saw increases from 2,000 – 4,000 cars a day to 30,000 vehicles plus with constant traffic 24 hours a day and seven days a week from casino goers, employees and vendors.  Local roads, not state highways, became the routes of choice for casino employees and delivery trucks.  The increased traffic brought with it increased accidents and the highest drunk driving rates in the state. 

The character of towns around casinos in Connecticut dramatically changed with lower-rent housing developments to support low-income casino workers.   Casino workers in Connecticut are “hot bed” sharing rooms near the casino with shift workers rotating in and out of rented homes that are now no longer maintained and dragging down the values of their neighbors.  Connecticut towns found an average of 20 percent loss in property values on routes used to and from the casinos.

Local businesses were put out of business and boarded up. A 2009 report by State of Connecticut found the number of gambling treatment clinics increased from 1 to 17 clinics.  Embezzlement arrests linked to problem gamblers rose from 43 to 214 after the casinos opened.  The embezzlement-related costs to Connecticut businesses and municipalities was $7.5 million.  Every town and business within 15 to 20 miles now has higher accounting and insurance bills associated with these embezzlement risks. 

Costs for local school districts near Connecticut casinos also increased by more than $2 million per year to pay for ESOL and other mandated and special program costs associated with influx of lower-income casino workers’ children.

Taunton casino dreaming, is it just that?

Taunton Mayor Tom Hoye joined the stage yesterday with Mashpee Wampanoag chairman Cedric "We will crush the competition by paying no taxes" Cromwell and proclaimed that a proposed Indian casino approval process would mark the most important period in the City's history!  Our city historians may find the Mayor's juxtaposition of an Indian casino resort development in the same historical context as Taunton's American Revolution legacy or role in bringing about the industrial era in the United States with skepticism, but the Mayor's intentions of bringing needed prosperity to the City are good.  But good intentions are just that if not coupled with reality.  And, press conference promises and theater from a Tribe known for reneging on such promises to other communities do not equal reality.

Put aside whether or not the people of Taunton can trust the Mashpee Wampanog and Cedric Cromwell to keep their promises.  Let's be clear about some critical and real hurdles which need to be cleared before this casino dream of historical proportions becomes more than a laundry list of promises from the Tribe for which the City of Taunton will have no recourse or ability to enforce. The Massachusetts gaming law spells out that a federally recognized tribe, like the Mashpee Wampanoag, must have a deal in place and overcome specific barriers they face by July 31, 2012 or the state must open up the casino application process to non-Indian commercial gaming interests.  What are those barriers?

1. An Act of Congress.  An Act of Congress is required to change current law which prohibits the Mashpee Wampanoag and other recently recognized tribes from taking lands into trust.  Having a land in trust reservation is a requirement for establishing an Indian casino. This is based on the 2009 Supreme Court Carcieri v. Salazar Decision which makes it illegal for the U.S. government to turn over lands in trust to Indians who were not federally recognized prior to 1934.  The Mashpee Wampanoag only became a federally recognized tribe in 2007.

This required legislative change is called the "Carcieri Fix" and has been unsuccessfully introduced in Congress each year since the 2009 ruling.  The Carcieri Fix legislation faces strong opposition from elected officials with existing recognized tribes who have established gaming operations.  And states neighboring Massachusetts, like Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York, which have existing gaming that will suffer from Massachusetts Indian gaming competition, can also be counted on to now oppose this fix as well. Several U.S. Senators, including Diane Feinstein, John McCain and Jon Kyle have openly stated their opposition to this legislation (hint: it only takes one senator to block a bill).  Further, these Senators have introduced counter legislation called the "Off Reservation Land Acquisition Guidance Act" and the "Tribal Gaming Eligibility Act" which will make the Mashpee casino bid even less likely to get approved if a fix to Carcieri is ever passed.   No "Carcieri Fix" legislation is currently scheduled for consideration in 2012 and the chances of it passing in an election year is non-existent.  No new law, no Indian casino for Taunton.

2. Approval from the Department of the Interior.  The Department of the Interior has an application process which can take up to 15 years and for which less than half of applications are approved.   The Mashpee Wampanog's last application filed was rejected. The application process includes requirements that the land in trust have the support of Members of Congress and state elected officials - and not just in Massachusetts. 

Neighboring Rhode Island and Connecticut have sufficient proximity with existing Indian reservations and gaming to claim another Indian casino will have a negative economic impact on them - which is grounds to block approval.  Casino proponents, in announcing studies showing that Massachusetts residents spend hundreds of millions at Connecticut and Rhode Island casinos, have already made the case for these states to oppose any new Indian casino in Massachusetts.  These states have no recourse to block a non-Indian gaming operation, but all they need do to prevent a new Indian reservation casino is show that it will take business away from their Indian casinos - which the recent Massachusetts studies do for them.

Rhode Island has already commissioned their own study and is preparing their case to block any Massachusetts Indian casino project on the South Shore.  Governor Chafee has publicly pledged to oppose any fix to Carcieri and to block any application within 50 miles of his state's Twin Rivers complex The Taunton casino site is closer to Twin Rivers than it is to the Mashpee Tribe's headquarters (Twin Rivers is about 20 miles from Taunton, while the Mashpee's existing reservation is more than 50 miles away).

This Department of Interior application process also requires that the interests of other tribes be considered. Any recognized tribe with cause may intervene to protest a new application for land in trust.  The Pocasset Wampanog are disputing the Mashpee's territorial claims to the Taunton site and the Aquinnah have announced they will file a lawsuit to block them as well.  Given that the Mashpee Tribe's own enrollment ordinance states that you cannot qualify for membership in the tribe if you live further than 20 miles from Mashpee, MA they are going to have a hard time defending a territorial claim to Taunton.  Either of these tribes or opposition from the Narraganset Tribe in Rhode Island or Mohegan in Connecticut will be enough to derail the Mashpee's application process.

All the other lawsuits and opposition aside, these two requirements - which must be addressed by July 31, 2012 - make the proposed Indian reservation casino resort complex for Taunton more dream than reality.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Casino impact on Taunton neighbors: Berkley, Dighton, Raynham, Lakeville, Middleboro and Norton

The Berkley, MA town selectmen are asking Taunton Mayor Tom Hoye to include them in impact studies and negotiations with the Mashpee Wampanoag and their plans to build a mega-casino Indian reservation resort complex in East Taunton.  Berkley recognizes that Taunton will not be the only impacted community.  Are the other neighboring communities of Dighton, Raynham, Lakeville, Middleboro and Norton also preparing?

Well documented independent research from respected, non-casinofunded sources clearly shows neighboring communities also suffer from increase crime, traffic and others costs with casino gaming developments.  Casino promoters claim "mixed" data proves the casinos are not the cause, but reductions in murder rates while clearly casino-linked crimes like rape, assaults, car thefts, robberies and DUIs increased are easily measured.    Studies of casinos in suburban areas similarly show a corresponding loss in property values based on residential proximity to a casino.  The casino promoters only talk about studies done on remote location casinos where property values started at zero.  These property value losses can be measured miles beyond the borders of the towns in which the casinos are located.

Take the case of the small community of Ledyard, Connecticut.  Their downtown center is located about five miles from the Foxwoods Indian Casino resort complex.  Ledyard conducted a study of the impact andcosts they bear as a neighbor to the destination resort casino – similar to the one proposed for Taunton by the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe – and found the following results:

  • 24 hour a day traffic increases resulting in increased traffic control and road maintenance
  • Increased motor vehicle accidents resulting in the need for more police enforcement and emergency response
  • Increased drunk driving (DUI) incidents – which they note, now occur at the highest frequency rate of any location in the state – with corresponding police and emergency medical service response costs

Ledyard could directly quantify the costs of these new burdens by comparing their costs and incidence rates in previous years.  In addition to what the town characterizes as serious negative impacts on their quality of life of residents, they could attribute more than $2.2 million in direct additional costs to the town annually.  The broke them down as follows:

Expense area
Cost to town
Social Services/ Assistance
Legal expenses (lawsuit with tribe over attempted annexation of town land)
Local roads and bridges
Zoning enforcement
Public safety & traffic
Total 2000-2001 costs incurred:

Ledyard further noted annual erosion in their property tax base concurrent with the casino development and annexation of previously taxed lands for the purposes of expanding the Pequot Indian reservation.
The town acknowledges that the casino has brought new jobs to the region, but notes that the majority created were in the low $15,000 to $25,000 per year range. They noted that the low paying jobs and increase problem gambling associated with the casino proximity were linked to a significant rise in demand for local social services and general assistance programs.

In addition to moving from one of the lowest DUI rates to the highest in the state, Ledyard experienced a 300 percent increase in local crime rates.  This increase happened during the same time when crime rates outside of the casino region in Connecticut declined by 11 percent.

Ledyard also saw a 200 percent increase in traffic on local roads.  They note that casino customers are using local roads at significantly higher rates than the state highways which had been touted in initial impact plans as bearing the majority of the traffic burdens.  They further noted that the increased cars and trucks were not contributing to a corresponding increase in visits to Ledyard businesses, but was simply through traffic to the casino complex.

And, Ledyard noted that because Foxwoods was an Indian casino, that the construction process circumvented all local zoning, public hearing requirements and environmental regulations for which the town then incurred significant legal costs to protect their citizen’s interest throughout the development, building, ongoing operation and expansion process.

Taunton will not be the only place that needs to negotiate with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe to make sure their costs don’t outweigh the promised benefits of bringing a free from local jurisdiction and tax exempt Indian reservation casino resort complex to their community.  Will the impacted citizens and businesses in Dighton, Raynham, Lakeville, Middleboro and Norton have any say or control?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mashpee Wampanoag Taunton Casino: Trust but verify, if you can

On March 23, 2012 the City of Taunton received a $340,000 check from Cedric Cromwell and the Mashpee Wampanoag Indians to cover the costs of the upcoming special election ($40,000), consultants and legal counsel for negotiating with the tribe ($300,000). Since it didn't bounce, this check seals the deal on an agreement entered into by the City and the Mashpee-based Tribe to move forward with turning over control, including local jurisdiction, for lands in Taunton for an Indian casino resort complex.    

Just don’t be surprised if that $300,000 payment is not nearly enough to cover the legal expenses the town will face in dealing with the Cromwell led-Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and his Malaysian-backed reservationcasino resort syndicate.  Taunton need not look far when doing diligence on the Mashpee Wampanoag and Cedric Cromwell to anticipate the likelihood of success in this endeavor.

The Tribe itself commissioned an assessment of the Mashpee Wampanoag from Harvard University on their ability to govern themselves, achieve progress against stated goals and successfully engage effectively with other entities.  This report, delivered to Tribal Council Chair Cedric Cromwell in 2011 but never shared with the tribe, found that a lack of transparency, unclear goals, a lack of oversight against initiatives “limited the degree of legitimacy conferred upon current activities” of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribal government.  Yikes.  Who can blame Cedric for trying to keep those findings secret while he was negotiating a gaming compact with such “entities” as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and local governments in: Middleboro, Mashpee, Raynham, Fall River and now Taunton…

And what do we hear from all those other localities which have past dealings with this “limited legitimacy” branded Wampanoag group?  There are many important lessons from other Massachusetts towns dealing with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe which should be considered by Mayor Tom Hoye and other Taunton officials.   

The Town of Middleboro remembers and is currently in court and seeking help from the Governor and other elected officials to be made whole on reneged agreements with the Mashpee tribal council headed by Cedric Cromwell.  Middleboro trusted the Mashpee Wampanoag only to find out months after the tribe was notified that their application for land in trust for that community had actually been thrown outby the Department of the Interior.   How much are Middleboro’s legal bills now and what costs did the Tribe saddle the town with as a result of their less-than-transparent dealings?  Ask Middleboro selectmen Ben Quelle if Taunton should trust the tribe, Quelle told Gatehouse News, “They speak with forked tongues and their signature means nothing. They cannot be and should not be negotiating with other towns…

Even the tribe’s own hometown of Mashpee has had to enlist and pay lawyers to prevent this reservation casino-bent gang from violating agreements with them.  The Town of Mashpee had to have their lawyers write to the U.S. Bureau for Indian Affairs (BIA) on January 25, 2008  to oppose the Tribe’s application for land in trust claiming the Tribe misrepresented and made false claims about agreements with the town in their federal filings.  The town wrote:

Contrary to the Tribe’s assertions in its application, the Town has not yet agreed to transfer to the Tribe any of the Town’s right, title, or interest in and to any of these parcels….” Adding, “The relationship between the Tribe and the Town with respect to land and development has been controversial… while many residents of the Town have expressed concerns to Town officials regarding the Tribe’s proposed and potential future acquisitions of trust land and how the Tribe’s proposed development may affect the region…”

The Mashpee lawyers added, “Although the Tribe has stated that it does not intend to develop any of the Mashpee lands for gaming purposes, it has nonetheless requested on page 2 of the trust land request a determination by the Secretary that all the lands identified in the application constitute the initial reservation of a newly-recognized tribe on which gaming may be conducted… The Tribe’s application indicates that the Town will transfer its title to certain parcels of land…   This is an inaccurate and presumptive assertion by the Tribe…” 

These are kind legal words which suggest the tribe lied on its submissions to the federal government.

Cedric Cromwell and his council cohorts (see image) don't even trust their own tribe members. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribal council recently established a Tribal Gaming Ordinance which appoints Cromwell and his council treasurer Mark Harding in charge of all gaming issues and allows them to negotiate contracts in secret.  Not even members of the tribe are allowed to attend meetings or view documents where Cromwell is putting them into debt to pursue his casino interests.  Cromwell has even created a for-profit real estate holding company, separate from the tribe, called "Project First Light, Inc", which he controls with Harding and two other council members.  First Light is the company being used to make the land deals in Taunton - why the tribe needs a separate for-profit entity through which borrowed tribal funds are laundered with no accounting to members has raised significant concerns among his own people.

If the Mashpee Wampanoag cannot be trusted in their own town or by their own tribe members, and have left a trail of broken promises with other neighboring communities how do we think Taunton will fare some 50 miles away?   No resident of Taunton, regardless of their ancestry, can even qualify to be a Mashpee Wampanoag member – so no ‘neighbors’ with skin in the game to complain to if things go badly.  

Trust but verify.  And if you really cannot verify, all we can go on is past behavior.   

Monday, April 23, 2012

White House memo identifies problems with Mass Indian gaming regional set-aside

1996 memorandum written for the White House counsel by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s top lawyer shows that any Massachusetts’s carve-out for Indian-only gaming in Southeast Massachusetts, giving acknowledged special treatment to the Wampanoag tribe, would prevent the Commonwealth from receiving federal financial support in the tens of millions from IGRA to the state, impacted local communities and non-profit organizations to mitigate the negative effects of Indian casino gambling. 

Further, this memo spells out that any compact between the Commonwealth and an Indian tribe limited to a specific region of the state, as is the case with the current Massachusetts casino gaming law passed in 2011, would not be approved and that any payment deals between the State and Tribe would be void.  

In this recently released memo, the Department of Interior solicitor John Leshy wrote:

The proposed Wampanoag compact provides for tribal exclusivity only in the (defined Boston/New Bedford ‘statistical’ areas – SE Mass)… not throughout the State… As a matter of policy, the Department has determined that it will not approve compacts that call for tribal payments in exchange for less than state-wide exclusivity for Indian gamingOur rationale has been that anything less than total exclusivity gives the States an effective opportunity to leverage very large payments from the tribes.  Moreover, anything less would require difficult line-drawing judgments to assess the value of particular arrangements to determine whether they are in a tribe’s best interest…

The Department of the Interior found that anything less than granting an Indian Tribe, like the Mashpee Wampanoag, exclusive state-wide rights to casino gaming would be cause to prevent the State from collecting any fees above the state's minimal costs for regulating the tribe:

As noted earlier, IGRA disclaims any intent to confer on a State the “authority to impose any tax, fee, charge, or other assessment upon an Indian tribe . . .  to engage in a class III activity.  25 U.S.C.  § 2710(d)(4).  As we have always construed it,  IGRA prohibits  a  compact from obliging a Tribe to pay a State out of  its net gaming revenues more  than the  State's  actual costs of  regulating  the  gaming  activity  authorized by  the compact .   Accordingly,  once   the  State  is  relieved  of  any  obligation to  limit   a  tribe's   competition,   tribal  payments   to  it   beyond  those  necessary to defray the State’s regulatory costs are forbidden by IGRA.  The tribal payment requirement quoted above thus falls before IGRA..."

This findings, of course, would also extend to agreements sought by City Taunton for payments from the Tribe linked to any gaming revenues.  So no $85 million application fee (required of non-Indian casinos) and no annual 40 percent taxes on revenues.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Taunton local casino opposition organizes


Stop Taunton Casino has a robust budget of $0 but is fighting the good fight!  The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, which has authorized their public relations and lobbying firm to spend $500,000 to win the upcoming non-binding election can be expected to pull out all the stops.  Please consider linking to and lending your voice of  support to the people of Taunton, MA who are trying to protect their community.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wampanoags on the war path over casino land dispute

“To reservation-shop in somebody else’s ancestral territory? That’s just ridiculous. Back in the day there’d be war if you come into somebody else’s land. Right? We’d fight over stuff like that.’’

- Daryl Black Eagle Jamieson, Pocasset Wampanoag Tribe Vice Chairman.

Middleboro Remembers provides great insights today into reports that Masphee Wampanoag attempts to extend their reach into Taunton violate Pocasset ancestral rights.  The Boston Globe's Mark Arsenault similarly details the latest in a long string of gaffes by the Malaysian-gaming syndicate backed Mashpee tribal council in their quest for casino gold.  Bottom line, Taunton can anticipated even longer delays, lawsuits and black eyes associated with hopes for jobs and any far-fetched economic upsides to locating an Indian reservation casino in town.

The territorial challenge to the Mashpee Wampanoag will be hard to beat back given that their own Mashpee tribal membership ordinances have geographically defined residency requirements that excludes anyone who lives more than 20 miles away from Mashpee from being able to claim they are a Mashpee Wampanoag.  Of course, the tribe's own council chairman Cedric Cromwell didn't follow this ordinance - he lived in Attleboro when he "found" his Indian roots in 2006.

Taunton is 50 miles away from Masphee - well outside their own defined territorial boundaries - but less than 20 miles from the Pocasset headquarters and well within their historically defined boundaries.  Sadly, the Pocasset lack federal recognition and the Masphee have a very bad history of playing well with others so any compromise is unlikely.  Regardless, existing federal laws will block the Masphee from moving forward anytime in the near future.  Don't hold your breath Taunton, your wild ride with the Mashpee tribe is only just beginning. 

Residents of Taunton aren't even eligible to be members of Mashpee Wampanoag .

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wampanoag Taunton Casino Job Application

Jobs in Taunton, MA important to you?  Follow these simple steps to see if you might get a Taunton job at the proposed Mashpee Wampanoag Indian reservation casino complex.

Click the image to enlarge the decision tree with critical information on Taunton employment opportunities with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.

Click here for information on Cedric Cromwell's plans for tribal police and a border protection force to enforce Mashpee Wampanoag tribal laws on the proposed Taunton Indian reservation casino complex.

For more information on how the Mashpee Wampanoag leadership is viewed by their own tribe members, click here to visit the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe member protest site.  (Reel Wamps).

Click here for a brief independent background paper on Indian casinos and labor laws.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What are they thinking?

Proposed Wampanoag Indian casino, hotel, restaurant, bar and hotel complex location in Taunton, MA

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Proposed Wampanoag casino borders local elementary school

The Mashpee Wampanoag-proposed Indian reservation (no local laws apply) mega-complex gambling resort literally borders the East Taunton Elementary School and another dozen public, catholic and private schools are all less than ten miles from the site.

Are Bristol County and Taunton educators prepared for the onslaught of casino gambling and its impact on the children?  Taunton citizens will vote on June 3rd on a non-binding referendum which some local politicians will use as cover to allow the development of a massive casino resort complex planned by the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe.  

While the politicians, lobbyists and casino gaming interests prepare for their paydays – parents and concerned citizens need to consider the real and serious costs we’ll face.

Forget the issues of increased traffic, crime and other problems which come hand-in-glove with the creation of an Indian reservation casino complex in Taunton.  Are the teachers, parents and students ready to address the increased risks this poses to children? 

Are the Taunton School Committee and superintendent Julie Hackett preparing curricula and training staff to identify and address gambling related problems which increase in children when a casino is part of their community?  How will the Arch Diocese and independent schools prepare for this problem?

Based on research, evidence and experiences from other locales where casino gambling was introduced, we will see real problems for Taunton area kids:
  • Three out of every 30 children will be harmed by gambling addiction. 
  • Children exposed to gambling are at two to four times higher risks than adults of becoming problem gamblers. 
  • We can expect to see increased incidents of abuse and abandonment which rise associated with the establishment of casinos. 
  • Casinos are associated with increased school dropout rates, drug and alcohol abuse and youth crime.
  • And, casino gambling is also associated with increased youth suicide rates.

Will Dr. Hackett take a policy stand to limit casino cash influence on the local schools as is recommended by groups like NCAGE and  NCALG
Town streets will be littered with billboards and advertisements, casino buses and other constant reminders for our kids of the gambling activities on the other side of their school playgrounds and parks.

To make matters even worse, the casino proposed for Taunton will be an Indian reservation gaming resort complex.  This means hotels, 24 hour bars and restaurants, shops and other attractions – many of which will be open to those under the age of 18 – in addition to the casino.  Town ordinances, state and even federal laws protecting children DO NOT APPLY on Indian reservations.  Only the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, which has a sole focus on getting cash out of Taunton and no other ties to the local community, will have jurisdiction and legal authority to govern what happens on their reservation.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gaming commission fails transparency test out of the box

Don't say we didn't warn you!  South Coast Today details how Deval Patrick's Massachusetts Gaming Commission is already closing ranks and refusing to answer the public's questions about ongoing plans for casinos in Massachusetts.  Click here to read the editorial on Massachusetts Gaming Commission secrecy.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wampanoags add acres to Taunton casino site - is town ready for tax and jurisdiction losses?

The Boston Herald reports that the Wampanoag tribal council headed by Cedric Cromwell and his gang has purchased more land in Taunton for their Indian reservation casino.

Has anyone asked the Taunton police ( how they feel about ceding jurisdiction of 135 acres of  bars, restaurants, gaming rooms, hotels and shops to the historically corrupt Wampanoag council and their private security forces?

How does Taunton Mayor Tom Hoye ( feel about losing jurisdiction and local taxing authority over these lands?

What about the Taunton Planning Board's Kevin Scanlan ( - Kevin, how do the board members you feel about ceding all local zoning to an Asian-gaming syndicate backed band of Mashpee Wampanoag who live more than 50 miles away?

How about the Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant commissioners like Peter Corr?  Want to know how hard it will be to collect utility fees from the tribe when their chief Cedric failed to pay his personal taxes and utilities in 2009?

Lest we forget what Wampa-World Taunton will mean - revisit our previous posts!  Or we can just follow the money and see how many of the folks above are recipients of Wampanoag lobbyist campaign cash and we'll see where the peoples' interests are being kept in Taunton.