Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • Sep
  • 19

Mass. bishops oppose expanded gambling

Posted By September 19, 2014 | 10:44 am | Lead Story #2

The four Catholic bishops of Massachusetts have urged residents to oppose the expansion of “predatory gambling” in the state when they vote Nov. 4.
They urged a “Yes” vote on ballot question 3. A “Yes” vote would ban casinos and slot parlors in the state.
In a statement released Monday, they said that the Church views gambling, done in moderation, as a legitimate form of entertainment.
But, they said, expanded gaming in the Commonwealth opens the door to a new form of predatory gaming.
The statement was signed by Bishop McManus, Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley, OFM, of Boston, Bishop George W. Coleman of Fall River and Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of Springfield.
They said expanded gambling  was authorized in Massachusetts in 2011, when unemployment was high at 7.4 percent; the state was searching for new revenue and thousands of families were relying on state assistance.
Now the state of the economy in the state is “more robust,” with unemployment at 5.5 percent, below the national average of 6.1 percent.
They said other Northeastern states have seen declining revenues from gaming operations, and casinos in Connecticut and New Jersey are struggling and closing, with many people losing their jobs.
“The gambling industry threatens local businesses, weakens the moral fabric of society and fundamentally alters communities for years to come,” they said. “Three destination resort casinos and a slots parlor will saturate the entire state, diminishing our rich heritage and history. There is too much at stake for Massachusetts to open the door wide to expanded gaming. Massachusetts can do better. Massachusetts can say ‘no’ by voting ‘yes.’”