On Monday, the Boston Globe wrote about the Mohegan Sun casino in Montville, Connecticut. Right from the beginning the author points out the “cautionary tale for those who see casinos as economic saviors.” The self-contained nature of the casino has limited its effect on many local businesses, and town and business leaders “Warn their Massachusetts counterparts to temper expectations.
“Hopefully, they don’t think all these people are going to come through town,’’ said Nancy Gray, president of the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce. “No, they are going to go down your roads. People aren’t going to be shopping in the gift shops. They stay within those walls.’’
The article does point out some financial and jobs benefits, but says that that boost has come at a cost. Traffic has gotten worse, particularly in the evening, and drunken-driving arrests have surged. In Norwich, which is within 8 miles of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, such arrests have doubled since 1992.
An additional cost that hasn’t been spoken about much is found in the school systems in the area. The casino has drawn an influx of immigrants, primarily Chinese, and their children often enter the school system speaking little English. “It’s been a cost to the schools,” says Candy Buebendorf, chairwoman of the Town Council. “Our English Language Learner program has really had to be beefed up.”
Source: Boston Globe