Any Wampanoag Casino should be on Cape Cod

Why let other areas reap the billions in benefits?
The perfect casino site is already called a "reservation"

By Walter Brooks

Several news stories recently have revealed the astronomic spending by Bay State gamblers at out-of-state casinos, over a billion a year, and that's not counting vacations or trips to Vegas, Atlantic City and any other gambling Mecca. 

That spending could be done here on Cape Cod if we got off our sanctimonious "high horse" and welcomed any Mashpee Wampanoag casino right here in their ancestral home.

The perfect casino site is already called a "reservation

otismmr192And the ideal Cape Cod location is staring us in the face - the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) which has lost the 102nd Wing of the Air National Guard and the jobs which go with it which flew off to Bradley Field. 

The local Native American tribe made a deal with the town of Mashpee not to have the casino if permitted here, but MMR isn't town property, it's state property belonging to us all. It's a huge hunk of Cape Cod as the map on right shows.

Of course New Bedford or Fall River or Taunton could use a few billion and they'd all welcome an Indian casino in their town.

But so should we, if we're not hypocrites and snobs. 

America was never successful in "legislating morality", witness the failure of prohibition almost a century ago and attempts to legislate drug use today.  Free people end up doing exactly what they want to do, laws or no laws.

Visit Connecticut and see what's happened there 

ledyard270caption_01It's not even a question of whether or not Cape Codders will spend money gambling - they already do at every Cumberland Farm a.k.a. "the poor man's casinos".

The only difference is that the Cape Cod economy will get the money directly or indirectly. The Mashpee tribe will get most, but anyone who has visited Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods can't help but notice the collateral commerce in the form of new hotels and restaurants newly built in the nearby towns of New London, Groton and Mystic which are a half hour drive away. 

I never gamble myself, actually think it's foolish and boring, but I visited both Connecticut casinos and three of the nearby towns several times recently to see for myself what well managed gambling does to an area. I was very favorably impressed.  I've personally launched vacation guides in over 30 U.S. markets, many of which had gambling nearby.

I can only tell you that the hotel at Mohegan Sun may be the most beautiful in New England and New London, Groton and Mystic have prospered greatly since it opened.

Maybe it's serendipity that the MMR was named a "reservation" in the first place.

WB 

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