Casino Effort Turns Ugly in Foxboro

Before the state’s Gambling Commission gets down to the business of awarding a license to an applicant in either East Boston/Revere or Foxboro, they will have to ask themselves collectively this question: which area is more suited to a casino and which area needs the economic boost more than the other and which area wants the facility?

These questions, among others, will inevitably be asked by the commission.

Based on what they feel is the right place, at the right time for the license will be granted the right to open a casino.

Recent troubling events in Foxboro reveal that town to be split and at odds about whether or not to allow potential casino operator Steve Wynn to make a presentation to the selectmen.

The Robert Kraft/Wynn front men and communication specialists have been saturating the town with pro-casino literature and promises. In addition, there are several selectmen races going on in town which will be decided in early May – and those races will determine whether or not the Kraft/Wynn proposal gains some legs or goes down for the count.

Recent news events out of Foxboro indicate that tensions and emotions are running high among townspeople against the coming of a casino and among those wanting the town to consider the proposition.

This has produced reactions that have been largely absent from the East Boston/Revere nexus where polling has shown – and peoples’ civility to one another about the idea has shown as well – that area residents are not divided about a casino coming. In fact, it is believed a large majority welcomes the development of Suffolk Downs into a casino.

Here, most people see the casino as a job and tax revenue creator. Both are badly needed here, much more so than a casino is needed in Foxboro where unemployment is low and where many local people are already employed at Gillette Stadium by the Patriots.

In Foxboro, recently, an unemployed union worker living on the same street as a Foxboro selectman who is against the casino going there, threatened to kill the selectman with an axe and using  some very angry and aggressive language. He was arrested last Wednesday and released on $5000 cash bail.

The court ordered him to stay away from the selectman.

However, the selectman chose to go into hiding with his family fearing retribution by his neighbor, who has a long criminal record riddled with violence against a number of individuals.

This incident by itself has unsettled Foxboro in a dramatic way.

In addition, the Kraft Group’s mailing last month concerning a billboard controversy with the town, in which a town official was castigated, has been ruled an “electioneering” issue by the Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

Kraft portrayed a selectman by name as the cause for the breakdown in Kraft’s relationship with the town. By identifying her by name 90 days before a town election, the Kraft Group was required to make a filing itemizing the expenditure and had not done so.

This swirl of negative activity related directly to town politics and the coming of a casino is not being replicated in Revere or East Boston, where both cities are working together to advocate for Suffolk Downs to get a casino license.

Inevitably, the Gambling Commission will take all of this into consideration prior to the granting of a license.

As a result, things are looking up for the Suffolk Downs proposal soon to be made to the Gambling Commission.

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