SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

January 17, 2014

Letter: Build a ‘sunset’ provision into casino law

To the editor:

Brian Watson’s column (”Casinos are a bad bet for taxpayers,” Jan. 15) predicts that after six, seven, or more years, casinos will cost taxpayers more than the revenue they produce. In addition, the number of addictive gamblers, broken homes and amount of crime will rise significantly. Here is a solution to the supposed future problems.

The Legislature should put the casino law into a “sunset category.” After five years, if the casinos are not profitable and causing the ills mentioned, then the casinos would be shut down. The loss of jobs would include some workers who, under present law, would be retrained. And if casinos face a shutdown, with a bidding process for other casino operators to take over, I doubt if the present casino ownership would allow the “renegotiation” that would hurt taxpayers and they would be a willing partner in helping with gambling addiction and other ills.

And what if the casino bidders decided not to build the casinos due to the sunshine legislation? Then there would be no casinos, which is what Mr. Watson and his supporters would like.

Stephen J. Feins

Salem

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