Two Springfield Groups Continue to Push Mayor Sarno for a Casino Debate


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Tonight a group of citizens who oppose building a casino in Springfield took to city hall to ask the mayor for a debate.

Citizens Against Casino Gaming and ARISE for Social Justice say they have already asked the mayor for several debates so residents can ask him about the negative impacts a casino could have and today they went to his office to try again.

So far Mayor Domenic Sarno has not agreed to any debates but the two groups say that won’t stop them.

“We will continue to ask for these debates, we will demand these debates, we’ve only heard one side of the picture. We believe Mayor Sarno is hiding behind a million dollar advertising campaign by MGM. When we asked for a public debate he said ‘take it up with MGM.’ We believe it’s a mayor’s responsibility.”

Earlier today we spoke to expert Geoffrey Locke at Smith College about the negative social impacts casinos and gambling can have on an area and he said with 3 casinos coming to Massachusetts the number of compulsive gamblers will increase.

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  • springfieldjules

    I’m not too into politics and I don’t follow up on all the political news, however, I must say that out of all the politicians I have heard of within the city, Mayor Sarno has demonstrated the most concern over the city and its people. He has made a difference; he does not hide behind his desk like some politicians do. Instead, he has ensured his presence during devastations, the fight against crime and drugs, and during events like Rebuilding Springfield, Green n Fit, etc.
    Although he is in favor of the casinos in Springfield, I don’t believe he should have to participate in debates about the casinos. MGM has really been proactive, and have sent out mailings with their contact information requesting feedback from the residents. They’ve had public meetings, etc. Instead of debating the casinos with Mayor Sarno, why not call MGM? I certainly understand the safety concerns (crimes), as well as the concern for heavy traffic, gambling addiction, etc. However, this can also help the city financially, provide many job opportunities, as well as additional security by hiring more police officers. Do people realize how many Massachusetts residents travel into Connecticut and leave the many thousands of dollars in their casinos and hotels? Why not have them leave the money here? The casino could be a great opportunity for the city and state, but for those who are so against it, they will have the opportunity to vote against it on July 16th.