RE “IF we must build a slot parlor. . .” (Editorial, Feb. 2):
The Globe callously concludes that the Massachusetts horse racing industry is on life support and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission should pull the plug by awarding the state’s only slot parlor license to a proposal that doesn’t include racing facilities. While it’s true that the horse racing industry nationally has been in steep decline for well over a decade, the fact is that in every state that has authorized slot machines at their racetracks, the industry has been revitalized. For example, in Maine purses have more than doubled at the state’s two racetracks as a result of slots at Penn National Gaming’s Bangor facility.
The Massachusetts Legislature supported horse-racing to protect the 4,500 direct local jobs — many of them small business owners — and the thousands of indirect jobs that depend upon it. Furthermore, the industry is responsible for preserving 170,000 acres of green space.
It is beyond disappointing that the Globe would favor a handout from the proposed Leominster casino to create speculative new high-tech jobs, rather than protect thousands of existing jobs and more than one-third of total farmland in the Commonwealth.