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Monday, July 23, 2007

Massachusetts looks at troublesome effects of casinos in Connecticut


Are casinos really glamorous?

What??? There are negative effects to having casinos? I'm quite sure I've never heard of this.

Oh, but our neighbors to the north are looking at hard quality of life numbers while they think about a casino in Middleborough, Massachusetts.

Over the last six years , calls to the Ledyard Police Department, a short drive from the Foxwoods Resort Casino, have almost tripled, according to local authorities. And in Montville, where Mohegan Sun is located, calls to police are up 38 percent overall since 1997.

Arrests for drunken driving have risen in both towns -- up from 38 to 87 in Ledyard since 1991 and from 39 to 113 in Montville since 1997. But the big reason for the increase in police calls, according to both departments, is not casino- related vices, but the sheer volume of people passing through these towns every day, creating more opportunities for problems just by being there.

Traffic is up as much as 275 percent near the casinos -- a source of frustration for many residents. With the traffic, though, has come job growth. And with the job growth have come developers scooping up land and immigrant families seeking steady employment at the casinos as janitors, cooks, and dealers.

Together, these changes have altered life in Ledyard, population 15,215 , and Montville, population 17,019 -- and in the surrounding region. Some say for the better, others for the worse. Either way, with two casinos rising into the sky just 10 miles apart, it is impossible not to notice.


Actually, doubling or tripling the amount of drunken driving would seem to be a problem, but what do we know? More here from the Boston Globe.

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