Casino gambling isn't legal in Massachusetts, but about 130 people attended a forum last night on the topic to listen to an expert's report on how legalized gaming would positively impact the state and local economy.
There were plenty of questions at the end of the presentation by Clyde W. Barrow, director of the Center for Policy Analysis at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the author of a recent report titled "Maximum Bet: A Preliminary Blueprint for Casino Gaming and Economic Development in Massachusetts." The meeting took place at Chicopee Public Library at the invitation of Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette, who is pushing the aldermen to place a nonbinding referendum question regarding the casino issue on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Barrow's report, based on the assumption that the state will impose a 27 percent tax on gross gaming revenues, highlights the economic impact that three casinos would have on Massachusetts if casino gambling is approved by the state Legislature. He said the casinos would generate approximately $400 million in new revenue for the state and cities and towns in the first year, along with creating about 10,000 construction jobs and more than 10,000 resort casino jobs. Money, approximately 0.25 percent from gross gaming revenues, would be used to address the issue of gambling addiction.
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