As the expression goes, when it rains it pours. And regrettably, the current situation in Massachusetts is much more serious than such an expression conveys. As promised, the Legislature moved before Thanksgiving to legalize expanded predatory gambling. The conference committee of House and Senate members reached a compromise bill that licenses three resort casinos, and one slot parlor at one of the state’s racetracks.

In the end, the votes for passage weren’t even close, as legislators seek to cash-in on the short-term benefits, while glossing over the long-term costs associated with expanded gambling. Legislators want to be able to tell their constituents that they created jobs and new revenues for the state’s cities and towns, while ignoring the fact that there has never been an independent cost-benefit analysis of expanded gambling.

Once the casinos open their doors, the fabric and soul of our great state will be forever changed. We will have willfully invited a scourge within our state’s walls, a Trojan Horse that will only bring costly addictions, broken families, crime, corruption, small business failures and more.

With expanded gambling measures recently failing in Maine when put to a vote of the people, one must wonder what would happen if the people of our state were allowed to vote on the issue. Of course, they weren’t trusted to make the right decision on the definition of marriage, so why would gambling be any different? All options are on the table, and we will be discussing each of them with our coalition partners in the coming days.