Vote NO on Springfield Casino on July 16

A week from today we here in Springfield get to vote against this:

That’s the giant eyesore that MGM wants to build downtown and we’re supposed to be excited for. It’s going to save our economy, don’t you know, just like that casino saved…that place…somewhere…

We’re voting NO, despite the fact that MGM is spending like crazy to get the vote to pass. Our little anti-casino yard sign is one of three I’ve seen driving around, amid the dozens of pro-MGM ones. The casino is promising jobs, which is hard to argue against in this economy, even when you point out how shitty and pointless those jobs are likely to be (and how many jobs will be lost as a result of the casino.) Mayor Sarno is pretty much in MGM’s pocket and even our newspaper is now all for it. Their reasons for “yes” are all the pie-in-the-sky numbers that MGM is throwing out without any evidence to back them. And apparently the only reason to oppose the casino is the immorality of gambling which doesn’t matter because gamblers can already gamble elsewhere anyway, so why not make a buck off of them?

It’s sad that this is what we, as a community and as a nation — casinos are constantly being proposed as rescuers of a city — have come to. Let’s not worry about making anything, about doing anything lasting or worthwhile. Let’s not build communities and skills and factories and ideas. Let’s just take money from people, throw it at MGM, and hope some of it falls our way. This is it, kids, this is how you get things done. This is how you build the future. A big casino.

In a way, we have to hope this thing passes because it’s pretty clear that it’s the only plan anyone has. There is no Plan B. Without the casino, Sarno’s got no ideas at all. So do we support this dumb thing because it’s at least a plan? Because maybe something good will happen as opposed to nothing happening at all? Because some crappy jobs are better than none?

I think the point is moot anyway. The voices against this thing are being drowned out. There’s some hope; the Republican has posted anti-casino letters to the editor and when I dare to read the comments on MassLive they’re generally anti-casino. But the field is tilted in MGM’s favor.

Please, if you’re local, vote against the casino. We need real plans for our community, not shoulder-shrugging fast-money bullshit. We need real jobs, not sub-minimum-wage junk that can’t sustain anyone and offers no future. We need to bring something to our city other than second-rate music acts. Please vote NO on July 16.

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