WMass residents react to new casino gambling research

Study: America's casino industry pumps an estimated $240 billion into the U.S. economy.

Photo courtesy: MGNonline

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– In one month Massachusetts voters will decide if the casino gaming industry will remain welcome in their state, and ultimately if MGM Springfield will be allowed to build in the city’s south end.

That’s where Peter Bouniconti’s family business has been open for more than 40 years.

“I don’t think there should be any fears for any business down here, I think it will be a shot in the arm for Springfield, like I said, and with the way the economy is now we could use anything,” Bouniconti, of Mercolino’s Bakery, is Springfield, said.

But area residents told 22News, should a casino be built in Springfield, they have a list of fears, including an increase in both traffic and crime.

“I’ve been to Las Vegas and the area behind where it is there is like slum areas and stuff I mean it ain’t going to help Springfield that much with that,” James Lussier, from Palmer, told 22News.

Now, a study from Oxford Economics, reports America’s casino industry, in total, pumps an estimated 240 billion dollars into the U.S. economy and supplies 1.7 million of the nation’s jobs.

In Springfield, MGM promises to bring more than 3,000 permanent jobs should casino gambling remain legal in Massachusetts, but that has some residents questioning who will get those jobs.

“I don’t think it’s going to help the economy at all. I mean their going to get all those jobs in there and then are they going to give them to Springfield people?” Mary Labord, from Agawam, said.

On November 4th, a “Yes” vote to ballot question #3 will change the current casino gambling law and no longer allow casinos in the state.

A “No” vote will keep the law the way it is, and therefore allow casinos, like MGM Springfield to be built.

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