RE “IF we must build a slot parlor. . .” (Editorial, Feb. 2):
The Globe recently recommended that state gambling regulators give the state’s sole license for a slot parlor to a proposal in Leominster instead of either of two rival plans located closer to Rhode Island and its Twin River casino. In the Globe’s explanation of its stance, the most jarring statement was the contention that Massachusetts shouldn’t prioritize reclaiming revenue from neighboring states and that New England states instead “should pursue policies that help each other.”
Excuse me while I step away from the “Kumbaya” circle.
Our neighboring states have been poaching our dollars for decades. Their casinos market to our residents to take our money out of the Commonwealth. New Hampshire and Connecticut are even upping the ante by looking to expand gaming in Salem, N.H., and Hartford to poach business from the Merrimack Valley and Springfield, respectively. The reason is simple: they want our business. I don’t blame them. In fact, we should emulate their strategy.
The best way to do so is to offer a superior product in a convenient location and provide reasons for customers to keep coming back. Penn National Gaming’s slot parlor proposal at Plainville does this. Their location abuts Interstate 495 and is only one exit away from Interstate 95 — perfectly situated to stop the flow of dollars out of the state and attract new visitors.
New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are not singing “Kumbaya.” Massachusetts shouldn’t either.