The voices against casino gambling are gathering their forces.
Like most of those who stand against progress in this litigious world, they are gathering studies, studies on top of studies, the one thousand reasons a casino cannot possibly thrive or even exist without ruining the East Boston community.
They are trying to harness the anti-forces that stand against issues no matter what the cost.
They prefer economic inertia to sound development and job creation – and they aren’t afraid to say so.
The vision most of these people have of the casino to be placed inside the sprawling Suffolk Downs track is that of a city within the city reaching for the sky, an enormous, overpowering, immoral Tower of Babel, large enough for everyone to see from hundreds of miles away and ruinous in every measure.
They envision twin eight lane highways costing $500 million necessary to carry the millions upon millions of people that will flood roads with traffic all hours of the day, making traffic so bad that life is going to stop. And they expect the owners of Suffolk Downs to pay for these superhighways.
No one among the against crowd has a complaint about 50 years of government nothingness with regard to the traffic on the McClellan Highway everyday.
Their mania is the possible coming of a casino to a great American city as though the presence of a casino will change life here.
East Boston, they say, will be ruined if Suffolk Downs is developed.
East Boston, they say, will be obliterated, the fabric of the community torn, the civil society shredded, tattered beyond recognition with East Boston itself taking on the persona of a homicide victim brutally stabbed to death and left to bleed.
They may work everywhere else but it can’t work here, they agree.
They don’t rally about the State Lottery ruining the lives of the underclass who spend so much on lottery tickets they forgo feeding or clothing their families.
This, somehow, is acceptable. A casino employing thousands, producing tens of millions in new taxes, creating jobs, bringing renewed interest to a long dead and empty area of the city is somehow not acceptable.
Small business will be ruined. Housing values will tumble. Prostitution will take over. Drugs will flow. With a casino here – East Boston becomes Sodom and Gomorrah and people looking back at the neighborhood will run the risk of turning themselves into pillars of salt.
The against people tend to believe that an empty and undeveloped Suffolk Downs is a far better place than a Suffolk Downs with a modern, going, entertainment venue like a casino.
We have heard this cry before and we will attempt to mitigate against it in every way that we can.
Logan Airport couldn’t kill East Boston.
Not even with 15 million travelers coming and going through Logan Airport every year has the airport been able to issue upon our neighborhood a fait accompli.
A casino at Suffolk Downs – a modest casino that will succeed because it won’t try to be something it cannot be – adds to the panache of the neighborhood.
Far from being ruined, the reputation of the neighborhood will be enhanced if a casino/entertainment venue is allowed.