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Editorial: Town ignores impact of Mashpee casino

"Middleboro officials, so blinded by the riches that may be coming their way with a new casino, have done little outreach to determine what impact the billion-dollar facility would have on surrounding towns.

So Lakeville selectmen have rightly taken the bull by the horns and asked 15 area communities as well as state lawmakers to attend a selectmen’s meeting Wednesday at the town library to discuss their concerns.

It doesn’t appear anyone has an agenda save for one item: What will be the impact on us?

In the tentative agreement reached Friday between Middleboro officials and the Mashpee Wampanoags, the town will receive at least $11 million annually with increases and hotel room tax collections each year up to $20 million. On top of that, the tribe will pay for infrastructure improvements totaling about $250 million for roads, utilities and water and sewer as well as new ambulances and extra firefighters/EMTs and police. Plus, the Wampanoags will pay 150 percent of the tax owed on their land, which will be exempt once it’s taken in trust, until the casino is open.

That’s a sweet deal for Middleboro and a hard one to walk away from, but unless there is consideration for surrounding towns, we hope the state does not give its needed approval for casino gambling."

Get the Story:
OUR VIEW: Casino affects more than Middleboro (The Patriot Ledger 7/21)