Worcester residents speak out on slots parlorAP , Associated Press
Apr. 9, 2013 12:23 PM ET
WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Two Massachusetts communities mentioned as possible homes for gambling facilities gave lukewarm receptions to proposals during public hearings.
Most residents and business owners who attended a Monday meeting with the Worcester City Council's Joint Committee on Economic Development and Public Safety were opposed to a proposed $240 million slots parlor at the vacant 14-acre Wyman-Gordon industrial property.
Mass Gaming & Entertainment LLC and Carpenter & Co. are proposing the only slots parlor allowed under state gambling law.
Meanwhile, in Milford, the chairman of the board of selectmen decried the lack of specifics by the owners of the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut in their proposal for a $1 billion casino in town.
"The time has passed for glossy pictures," Chairman Brian Murray said, according to the Milford Daily News (http://bit.ly/10JLR8v). "Particularly with the time frame the gaming commission has set up, we need to see the specifics."
Foxwoods officials outlined a 300,000-square-foot casino at the intersection of Interstate 495 and Route 16, including 4,725 slot machines, 125 gambling tables, 350 hotel rooms, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Foxwoods Chief Executive Officer Scott Butera said he would have more detailed information in six weeks, including specifics of the design itself and possible mitigation solutions to some of the concerns of casino opponents, including crime, traffic, and water and sewer issues.
State law allows for three full casinos in different regions of the state. The casinos must have approval from the host community and the state gambling commission.
In Worcester, The Telegram & Gazette (http://bit.ly/11NCyY6 ) reports that one resident said the neighborhood needs other businesses, not a slots parlor.
"This is not our first choice," resident Lorraine Laurie said. "If the residents had their way we would have a bank, a supermarket and a pharmacy there. We are not doing cartwheels over this."
Others worried about increased traffic, crime, prostitution, and the siphoning of customers away from neighborhood businesses.
Jeffrey Mararian, who owns several properties in the neighborhood, said he doesn't see slots patrons "ever visiting our neighborhood."
Supporters pointed to more than 600 jobs the slots parlor could bring to the city, as well as millions of dollars in tax revenue.
Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), http://www.telegram.com