Don Berwick on Local Issues
I did not take that step lightly. I am well aware of the dire need in Massachusetts to expand job opportunities throughout the state and of the hope in some quarters that casinos will bring both employment and new revenues to our strapped state budget. Nonetheless, I believe, the costs are simply too high for this to be the best step for our state.
I don't believe that we should be teaching our children that economic development is best achieved through gambling institutions. Instead, we should invest in helping our communities develop and thrive, making Massachusetts a more attractive place to do business, and training our workers for the high-tech jobs of the 21st century.
A Suffolk University poll released Monday showed that only 37 percent of likely voters now support casino gambling in Massachusetts. "It's time to backpedal," Berwick said.
While the other four candidates said they would oppose repeal if the Supreme Judicial Court certifies a question for the November ballot, Berwick said casinos would not only "cannibalize" the Lottery and cost the state jobs but also lead to addiction and medical health problems for the population. "Frankly, I do not understand why my opponents are not joining me," Berwick said.
Among the Democrats, only Don Berwick has supported the repeal of the 2011 Gaming Act, which approved three regional casinos and one slots parlor in the state. Republican front-runner Charlie Baker also has backed repeal of the act.