Shameless Plug

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Actually, this is more a vain attempt to bring attention to a new Pioneer website feature, what we call Mass Media, a daily compilation of articles from newspapers across the Commonwealth.

In the wake of today’s Boston Globe headline, I’d like to offer a quick thought on casino gambling. I should disclose at the outset that Pioneer has not studied the issue and, therefore, has no institutional position on the prospect of legalized casino gambling in the Commonwealth. Neither have I, personally, staked out a position on the issue. I admit to a certain trepidation regarding it, but that does not mean the potential benefits to the state wouldn’t outweigh the costs. Besides, I don’t believe government’s role should include policing our morals, eliminating all corporal pleasures simply because they might tempt us from the straight and narrow. It is the individual’s responsibility to decide, in full knowledge, whether they want to let next month’s mortgage payment ride on a turn of the roulette wheel.

It is to the cities and towns that are looking to legalized casino gambling as a lifeline, as the last remaining means of closing their operating deficits and reviving their local economies, that I offer a two-word warning. They may choose to disregard the two words I am about to offer, but before they do they should at the very least take a long, hard look at gambling’s failure to revive other local economies across the country.

The two words, you ask. Atlantic City. Anyone who has spent any time on the sand bar where casino gambling was introduced some 30 years ago knows it hasn’t been anywhere near the municipal lifeline Massachusetts’ cities and towns desperately hope it will be.