Councilor Ferrera Accepts Debate with Anti-Casino GroupSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — Citizens Against Casino Gaming first asked Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno to debate them on the pros and cons of casinos. Sarno declined so they asked MGM Springfield, and they too declined a debate. Monday, though, City Council President Jimmy Ferrera said “yes,” just as both sides of the casino argument are heating up.
That was made clear with a series of vulgar anti-casino signs that popped up around the city, indicative of an intensifying debate.
Using the past tense of the “f word” in Spanish, it reads “If you don’t want to see Springfield blanked, vote ‘no’ July 16th.”
While some of the signs are on private property, others are on traffic islands. City workers have already started taking the signs down according to Sarno’s office.
Citizens Against Casino Gaming says the controversial signs aren’t theirs and they don’t condone them, but they do say their anti-casino momentum is growing.
“There are negatives to the casino, that’s it’s not all glossies and mailings, and fancy television commercials. That there are some facts that need to be heard about the pros and cons of the casinos,” Dr. Mark Mullan of Citizens Against Casino Gaming said.
Dr. Mark Mullan hopes a casino debate Wednesday night will do just that. His group has many questions, including issues surrounding traffic, construction, and white collar crime. They also want to know what will happen if Springfield doesn’t get a casino and if there’s enough money to support one even if they do. Here’s a sneak peak:
“The battle for the dollar is going to be huge,” Mullan said. “Can Springfield even win that battle if we have it, other than just getting the local people to gamble, and we do not believe that it will.”
“There is a concern for over-saturation, however there can be sustainable attributes to having additional destination resort locations, not having just a box,” Ferrera
Both sides hope the debate will help residents be more educated before they cast a vote. It’s slated for Wednesday night at 7pm at 15 Birchland Avenue, a residence just off of Wilbraham Road.