STEVE WYNN’S bags of money poured into Everett to push his casino plan down voters’ throats (“Everett voters approve casino in a landslide,” Metro, June 23). As a Somerville resident, I have deep concerns about the impact of a casino just outside our city. Somerville would reap no benefits and absorb all the ills that go with a casino.
A national study found that having a gambling facility within 50 miles doubles the prevalence of problem gambling. How many communities are within 50 miles of the Everett site? Wynn talks about jobs and tax benefits, but there is little discussion about the fact that those who can least afford to lose money at casinos will be the people most likely to patronize them. As a clinician, I have worked with many clients whose families have been destroyed by compulsive gambling. These families experienced increased domestic violence, financial chaos, job losses, and foreclosures.
Wynn talks about tax incentives. But he does not focus on the tax burdens on communities due to increased demand for police, fire, and other emergency service personnel and increased costs to the judicial system due to crime attracted by casinos.
I ask Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and other area mayors to stop this casino. The people of Everett may have been duped by Wynn’s money, but all the surrounding communities should have equal input before any decision is made.