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letters | envisioning future of casinos in Mass.

Are we too wowed by numbers to see flip side in forecast of revenues?

Re “Casino would give city $32m yearly” (Page A1, Aug. 28): You report that a Suffolk Downs casino would pay Boston $32 million a year, and could pay as much as $52 million, “based on projections from a city consultant that the resort would gross $1 billion per year in gambling revenue.” Impressive numbers. A win-win, right?

But where would that $1 billion come from? How many existing businesses in Boston and nearby would be cannibalized to generate that number? How much of the $32 million would have been paid by them in taxes? How many of the 4,000 new jobs promised by the casino would be offset by job losses in other businesses? What would be the real incremental gain from this casino plan? And where would the financial pain hit?

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How about families whose money for basic expenses would feed that $1 billion in casino revenue? That’s an issue that has been brushed aside by officials intent on cashing in on gambling revenues.

I hope that in presenting this casino proposal to the voters, the city and the state Gaming Commission will be open about the numbers behind these good-times projections.

Don Carlson


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