Hard Rock International’s failure Tuesday to win the favor of West Springfield voters underscored a hard political lesson: With few exceptions, the Bay State’s relatively affluent suburbs are hostile territory for the gambling industry.
Since the state legalized Las Vegas-style casinos in 2011, cash-flushed developers promising jobs and millions of dollars in benefits have been bum-rushed out of town by Foxborough, Boxborough, Millbury, Tewksbury, and Salisbury. Freetown and Lakeville emphatically joined the anti-casino chorus in nonbinding referenda.
What almost all of these places have in common is a more affluent population.
Estimated median household income among those anticasino communities averages about $75,000, according to the demographic website city-data.com, compared with a statewide average of about $63,000 in 2011.
Among the communities in which voters have approved casinos or slot parlors — Everett, Springfield, Plainville, Raynham, and a nonbinding vote in Taunton — median household income averages about $55,500.
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