Tag Archives: gambling

From the Repeal the Casino Deal folks …

Shady land deals.

A corrupted licensing progress.

Calls for a new vote from the owners of Suffolk Downs.

It’s a mess.

We are now less than four weeks away from a Yes on Question 3 to stop the casino mess.

This week was a busy week for us at Repeal the Casino Deal. We released the findings on the devastating impact on local aid for cities and towns with the introduction of casino gambling. The casinos are taking aim at our lottery – which distributes nearly $1 billion back to cities and towns in the form of local aid.

What does that mean for you and for me? Less money for police officers and fire fighters, fewer dollars for road repair and snow removal.

According to our broad analysis, all 351 cities and towns across the Commonwealth will be affected. Even if a casino is miles away, the cuts to local aid will affect your community.

No town is immune. It’s imperative for us to get this message to each and every community in the Commonwealth-from Provincetown to North Adams and all points in between. We need you now.

Casinos are bad for communities, bad for families, bad for us all. Recent polling has shown us closing the gap. Our message is resonating, but we need to finish strong.

Thank you for your support!

John Ribeiro, chairman

Repeal the Casino Deal


“Expanded gaming in the Commonwealth opens the door to a new form of predatory gaming. We are concerned that the Commonwealth will be forced to rely on an unstable form of revenue, depending largely on those addicted to gambling. They are the citizens who are already among the ranks of the poorest in the community – the ones who can least afford to gamble.”

“We urge the citizens of Massachusetts to vote ‘Yes’ on Ballot Question 3 and stop the expansion of predatory gambling.”

Those sage and impactful words came in a statement from the Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts yesterday, led by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston and the Bishops of Worcester, Springfield and Fall River. Further demonstrating the growing support for casino repeal, they join elected officials like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Congressman Stephen Lynch, grassroots activists, concerned parents, and others.

We’re seven weeks from Election Day. If you’ve thought about joining the campaign against casino gambling in Massachusetts, that moment is now.

Join the campaign to stop the casino mess. Please donate, volunteer to help, and follow us on social media. This fall, it’s a Yes on Question 3.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, our new Yes on 3 website is live. Give it a look, and share it with your friends, family and neighbors. It’ll be an ongoing source for the latest news, events, and facts about casino repeal.

Together, we’ll defeat the casino industry.

John Ribeiro, chairman

Repeal the Casino Deal

Economic development? Buy outs and lay offs!

From the Niagara Falls Review. – R. T.:

Slot attendants offered buy-outs from Niagara Casinos

John Law 

By John Law, Niagara Falls Review

Friday, February 1, 2013 4:04:35 EST PM

Niagara Casinos has offered all 92 of its slot attendants voluntary buy-out packages.

The offer extends to attendants at both Casino Niagara and the Niagara Fallsview Casino. Employees have until Feb. 5 to decide.

The buy-outs were announced during a mandatory meeting with slot attendants and lead slot attendants Thursday, a day after Casino Niagara closed for a day because of renovations to the building’s electrical system.

Greg Medulun, Niagara Casinos director of communications, stressed the buy-outs are voluntary – there will be no job losses or layoffs. But staffing schedules and numbers “have fallen out of sync with our business needs.”

“There has been almost zero turnover in the last number of years in that area.”

A similar buy-out was offered two years ago to all full-time, non-unionized staff at both casinos. Seventy employees accepted, including four slot attendants.

The new package for slot attendants includes three weeks for every year of service (up to 26 weeks) …

Click here to read entire story!

To defeat Rush Street Gaming …

By Rosalie Tirella

Now is the time for:


Door to door education/outreach. Let folks know this is a big box Walmart type building filled with slot machines. Nothing more. I mean really nothing more if Allen Fletcher and the Canal District biz folks kill the two restaurants and spa slated to go there. This is not a full service casino, this gambling Walmart slated for the Wyman Gordon site. There is no attached hotel, shopping mall, concert venue a la Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods. Let’s not delude ourselves: The building will look like a Walmart – a big box store, with a few frilly flourishes. Cheap, low end. It won’t fool anyone.

Tell folks the truth about Rush Street Gaming and how they run their businesses, their other slots parlors. They are now pressuring their full time slots employees in other cities to ACCEPT BUYOUTS and ALL THE FULL TIME JOBS ARE BEING TURNED INTO PART-TIME JOBS.

The money, billions of dollars, Rush Street Gaming makes goes to Chicago, their headquarters. It does not get plowed back into the local economy, the way local small businesses put their earnings back into local economy. Remember: ALL THE STATE LOTTERY MONEY GOES BACK TO MA CITIES AND TOWNS. Not so with Rush Street Gaming.

The Rush reps we are meeting are SALESPEOPLE. They are not economic development experts. They do not care what happens to our city. They are salespeople, smooth talking and attractive, pushing their product, a slots parlor. To make billions of dollars.

They are betting on Woo’s desperateness. They know our factories are gone. They know we aren’t a Boston or Providence. That there are major gaps in our employment picture They have done their research and see: RUBES. We may think we can out-negotiate them, but we lose IF WE GET A SLOTS PARLOR. Even if we get a fake canal, some part time jobs, etc we still LOSE.

Worcester is a big family town. We don’t do adult entertainment. We do soccer, little league, church, schools … . NOT SLOTS.

Mailings need to go out to every Woo household! Mailings that detail how stupid slots are for Woo. Show folks the truth.

PUSH FOR A $10,000 ADVERTISING LIMIT FOR GAMING GUYS. Otherwise, they will plow hundreds of thousands of dollars into a gambling advertising blitz. Stop their bull shit advertising campaign in its tracks.

Have meetins in churches, schools, halls of all sorts to Stop Slots.

Let’s have all the factions who have said no MOBILIZE THEIR PEOPLE. Sarai Rivera and Mary Keefe – inner city folks/Latinos. Father Madden – the Catholics in town. Harriet Chandler – the Jewish community, etc.

InCity Times will continue to urge Worcesterites TO VOTE NO SLOTS. In the paper and on this website.

The battle has begun. We cannot let up for one second – until AFTER THE REFERENDUM HAS BEEN HELD

Facing the horrific … momentum for the gambling package may be building. What we need to do.

By Rosalie Tirella

We, the folks against the slots parlor in Green Island, must continue to write, speak and protest against city officials’ committing environmental injustice. Dumping the lowest form and exploitative economic ‘development’ on Green Island. But we have to face the facts: City officials, and most likely, the majority of the city council members, are FOR THIS TRAVESTY.

They are for it, and will vote to authorize the city manager to negotiate a host aggreement with Rush gaming. They already got what they really wanted – the luxury hotel, casino and nice restaurants DOWNTOWN, AWAY FROM THE SLOTS PARLOR. This is what was proposed early on, and if you remember Mayor Petty was livid over the proposal, wanted to seize the Wyman Gordon site under eminent domain. He said the proposed gambling package for Wyman Gordon would HARM ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN Worcester. So, behind closed doors, the plans changed. City officials and biz leaders got the gaming guys to say Ok, we will sprinkle the goodies downtown (hotel, restaurants, casino) and leave the crap slots parlor at the Wyman Gordon site. Let Green Island suffer more injustices.

We voters will merely have a chance to rubber-stamp Mayor Petty’s and CM O’Brien’s economic development vision come referendum time. Do not kid yourself, this proposal make it to the voters. City leaders want this. They are just too cowardly, except for Konnie Lukes, to fess up.

Who wants to be seen publicly embracing 1,200 slot machines that take credit and debit cards for Wusta’s most vulnerable hood?

Not our city councilors!

City officials are saying yes to slots cuz they are desperate for economic development downtown. AND the entire gaming package will mean, most likely,  lots of new tax dollars for Wusta, year after year. A new hotel built for free for the city by Rush.   Jobs for low skilled workers. Many permanent.

If we want to ease some of the pain for Green Island/Wusta’s poor residents, then we should demand the following:

That all jobs at the slots parlor, hotel, casino etc be awarded to folks who live within a HALF MILE OF THE DEVELOPMENT. NOT THE CITY OF WORCESTER, BUT THE WUSTA FOLKS WHO LIVE CLOSEST TO THE FACILITIES. These people will be impacted most severely. Traffic, crime, noise, etc.

The people who live nearest the slots parlor are, for the most part, low-skilled workwrs. Not stupid. Just not connected. Not wealthy. Not even middle class. Many never had the money or opportunity to go to college. THEY ARE THE PEOPLE WE MUST FIGHT FOR. THEY ARE THE FOLKS WHO YEARS AGO WOULD BE WORKING IN OUR FACTORIES. Now let them at least work in the casino industry – FOR UNION WAGES. NO LESS.

City leaders have been too lazy and stupid to recruit light industry to our city. The gambling  industry is offering them an easy way out.

They will take the easy way out.

At the very least, we should push for GOOD JOBS/GOOD WAGES for the people most impacted by living next to this unholy mess.

Driving in the old Green Island neighborhood …

By Rosalie Tirella

… a few days ago. Millbury Street, my old stomping grounds. Saw a guy being handcuffed by a cop outside the Honey Farms store. I thought to myself: Some things never change. All the canal fests in the world, all the frou frou street lamps in the universe can not wipe away poverty, desperation.

Criminals never look like the actors and actresses who portray them in movies and TV shows. In real life petty thieves look a lot like the guy I saw outside Honey Farms: underfed, skanky, poor. Like a guy who needs a good meal and some new, warm clothes.

I wonder how a slots parlor in the old hood will affect local businesses like Honey Farms. You know – the small stores on Millbury Street that cater to the residents of Lafayette, Lodi, Ellsworth , Sigel, Grosvenor and Meade streets, etc. The streets of Green Island. The streets where poor/working class folks live, usually in three deckers. More crime? More poverty?

Yesterday, still alarmed by the prospect of a slots parlor at Wyman Gordon, I went a callin’ on an old family friend on Lafayette Street. Let’s call her ‘Mary.’

I asked Mary, a smart, once fiery lady, what she thought of the slots parlor in her neighborhood. This life-long resident of Green Island knew exactly how things would play out in Wusta, land of the connected, home of the spineless politician. She said the slots were coming because none of the area’s leaders were gonna make a big effort to stop them. The deal has been made, she said. Without any in-put from Green Islanders, as usual.

Funny. She brought up Allen Fletcher. She said: Where is Fletcher on this? He has got his big school house on Ash Street. He lives near Wyman Gordon.

I told her I heard he is against the slots parlor but not really saying so, in a vociferous, public way.

Mary just smiled and shook her head and said: He knows on which side his bread is buttered.

I agreed. Allen is against slots, but why make waves and piss off the city manager and other city officials? People who have given him his frou frou street lamps on Millbury Street/Green Island. Why bite the hand that has been feeding you all sorts of goodies – of no real import to real Green Islanders – for years?

And so it goes. The grit in Green Island remains. Things will most likely get grittier as the locals make their way, WALK DOWN, to the slots parlor on Madison Street. To get lucky. But for the most part, they will leave uthe slots parlor poorer than when they entered its whirring, ringing, binging environs. More Green Islanders will struggle to pay rent and bills. A few desperate souls may rob the Honey Farms on Millbury Street. None of this will be pretty; some of it may be bloody.

We can count on ‘neighborhood leader’ Allen Fletcher to keep his rich, flaccid mouth shut. For the most part.

And do not get me started on our pointless city councilor, a pastor with a pastor husband. District 4 City Councilor Sarai Rivera is keeping her opinions to herself. Not coming out against gambling and its social ills, like a good pastor should. Not leading on this issue. Not advocating for her district. She has a big mouth when she wants to have one. Now, when we need it most, she has decided to shut her pie hole. Pathetic. Call her PASS-THE-BUCK RIVERA!

Why slot machines are like cocaine …

We ran this New York Times story in January. We re-post it in light of tonight’s city council meeting. We ask all Worcesterites to please say NO TO THE SLOTS PARLOR IN GREEN ISLAND!! Thank you!

– Rosalie Tirella

How Slot Machines Raise Our Hopes, Even When We’re Losing

Lloyd Miller

By RANDALL STROSS, The New York Times

Published: January 13, 2013

STEP into a casino and chances are good that slot machines are filling much of the space, as far as the eye can see. That dominant presence reflects the preference of many customers for machine gambling over human-mediated table games. Not surprisingly, electronic game machines contribute a clear majority of casino revenue in the states that permit them.

What may not be so evident is how a shift in casino gambling to screen-based games contributes to gambling addiction. It’s a story that would fill a book – and just such a book has arrived: “Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas” by Natasha Dow Schüll, an associate professor in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at M.I.T. The book offers a history of digital technology in casino gambling and shows how it grabs hold of players in ways never before available to equipment makers.

Professor Schüll, a cultural anthropologist, spent considerable time in Las Vegas casinos as part of her research. She met players who told her how they sought to enter a mindless state, a “zone,” in which all else is obliterated, and to stay there as long as possible.

“You aren’t really there – you’re with the machine and that’s all you’re with,” one subject said, describing the zone “where nothing else matters.”

This isn’t the only place where gamblers can reach such a state of mind. It’s also known to occur at table games and at the racetrack. But casino machines arguably supply the most immersive, distraction-free gambling experience.

Speed is one design element of modern gambling machines that helps preserve that zone. When the machines’ gear-driven handles were replaced by electronic push-buttons, the number of games that could be played in an hour doubled. On today’s video slots, played with credit cards instead of coins, players can complete a game in as little as three seconds. There is virtually no pause between plays, and virtually no opportunity to process what has just transpired. …

To read more, click here.



A song and … my car broke down …

… and the Old Injun Fighter came through for me and drove me around today (what a good egg!)  This morning, still missing his gnarly presence in my life, I asked him what he thought about my anti-slots-parlor crusade. The OIF is a realist, in the most brutal terms. Looking straight at me, he said: Yes. The people of Worcester will vote yes for this mess.

He told me people like this stuff. He couldn’t care one way or the other, but yes, Worcesterites will vote YES for the Green Island slots parlor and other gambling goodies/bribes slated for downtown.

This depressed me and I yelled at him: BUT YOU’LL VOTE NO DURING THE REFERENDUM, RIGHT?! YOU’LL VOTE NO!! VOTE NO!!!

Usually, he will vote the way I ask him to/ in a liberal/libertarian/progressive way, especially when it comes to the environment (which he is passionate about). But he was not up for the politics this morning (I always am). So I let up. But I did get his vote against the slots parlor!

Well, now that the “oracle,” has spoken, I am … blue. About slots. About losing him. We went to scores of concerts together. Saw The Moody Blues two or three times. I love this group, despite their kooky forays into poetry. Thought of this Justin Hayward song after the Old Injun Fighter dropped me off.

– R. Tirella

click on link below pics to hear a very romantic MB tune, written and performed by the lovely Justin Hayward!

Click here for song!




NOW poor Wusta folks can spend their $$ on slots instead of food!

I am re-posting this info. – R. T.

New Survey Finds 16.6 Percent of Households in Worcester Area Reported in 2012 Inability to Afford Enough Food

Report Exposes Broad Food Hardship; Underscores Need to Protect and Improve SNAP

Boston – 15 percent of respondents – or more than one in seven people – in Massachusetts reported in 2012 not having enough money to buy food that they or their family needed at some points during the prior twelve months, according to a new report released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).

This report provides data on food hardship – the inability to afford enough food – for every region, every state, every Congressional District, and 100 of the country’s largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), including Boston-Cambridge-Quincy; Springfield; and Worcester MSAs in Massachusetts. The report found that nationally the food hardship rate was 18.2 percent in 2012. Among states, Mississippi had the highest food hardship rate (24.6 percent) and North Dakota had the lowest (10.9 percent).

For Massachusetts it found that:

  • 15 percent in the state in 2012 said they were unable to afford enough food.
  • For the Worcester MSA, the food hardship rate for 2011-2012 was 16.6 percent, compared to 12.7 percent in the Boston MSA and 18.3 percent in the Springfield MSA.
  • Regionally, Massachusetts’s rate was slightly lower than the regional average. For the Northeast region, 15.9 percent say they were unable to afford enough food.

“It is unacceptable that so many people across Massachusetts are struggling and cannot afford enough food to provide for their families,” said Georgia Katsoulomitis, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI). “These numbers show us that we must make our nation’s safety net stronger, not weaker. The proposed cuts to SNAP, WIC, Elder Nutrition and other programs are unconscionable and would de-stabilize families that are already struggling.”

FRAC’s food hardship report analyzed data collected by Gallup and provided to FRAC. The data were gathered as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index project, which has been interviewing almost 1,000 households daily since January 2008. FRAC analyzed responses to the question: “Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?”

“Persistent unemployment, stagnant wages, and inadequate public programs are contributing to the nation’s high food hardship rate, yet Congress continues to propose cuts that would further fray our nation’s nutrition safety net,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “Congress needs to fix the problems rather than doubling down on harming the most vulnerable Americans.”

Representatives from MLRI will be in Washington, D.C. for the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, sponsored by FRAC and Feeding America. With more than 700 attendees, the conference will culminate on Tuesday (March 5, 2013) with a day of action on Capitol Hill where attendees will share these data with their lawmakers. MLRI is joining FRAC in urging Members of Congress to strengthen the federal nutrition programs so benefits are sufficient to address hunger and so they reach more households.

One key weakness of SNAP is that its benefit levels are too low to allow people to purchase enough food. A report recently released by the Institute of Medicine underscored the current inadequacy of SNAP benefit levels in ensuring that recipient’s nutritional needs are met, and outlined flaws in how SNAP benefits are currently calculated.

“SNAP benefits must be improved, and not endure further cuts as some in Congress have proposed. A majority of Americans oppose such cuts,” said Katsoulomitis. “The conversation needs to change in Washington, and Congress needs to focus on building – not weakening – our nation’s safety net. The first step is passing a Farm Bill this year that protects and strengthens SNAP.”