Casino Opponents Speak Out in Springfield
Voters will decide the issue on Tuesday, July 16th.
If you’ve driven through Springfield you may have seen the signs in Spanish opposing the casino.
They use a Spanish slang expression for the “F” word and one city council candidate has called for their removal,”The sign is very offensive, the language on it is very inappropriate, something like this would never be acceptable in English and it shouldn’t be acceptable in Spanish,” says Orlando Ramos, a city council candidate.
Ramos says he is calling for the removal of the signs although no one seems to know who put them up.
Meanwhile, local members of the clergy are speaking out against the social costs of the casino,”Our basic message is say no to the casino, no to the drugs, no to the increase of robberies and crimes,”says Pastor Darwin Rivera of Centro Cristiano Nacion De Jesus.
Also citing social costs was Archbishop Timothy Paul, President of the Western Massachusetts Council of Churches,”There will be an increase in bankruptcies, increase in gambling addicts, 50 percent more gambling addicts, our homeless population’s going to swell,” says Archbishop Paul.
MGM says economic benefits offset social costs,”For those who are opposed I would ask what options do they have for 3-thousand jobs, what options do they have for two thousand construction jobs , 800 million dollars of development,” says Michael Mathis, Vice President of Global Development for MGM Resorts International.
Meanwhile debate on both sides is likely to heat up this last week before the casino vote.
Anti casino forces say they will continue to get their message out until next Tuesday’s election.
They say they will be putting out a position paper later in the week and then this weekend members of the clergy will be speaking out at their services against the casino.