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Casino Debate Heats Up In Palmer

PALMER, Mass (WGGB) — The casino debate is heating up in Palmer. There’s just 40 days until the town’s special referendum. Those against the casino held a stand-out in downtown Palmer Friday. Quaboag Valley Against Casinos says that a resort style casino will bring traffic, addictions, and other problems. However, the group “Yes For Palmer!” says that the project will bring 3,000 plus jobs that will make all of western Massachusetts stronger.

“My main issue, which is not economic necessarily, is the fact that these electronic slot machines are just almost instantly addicting and they keep telling us it’s going to be a resort, it’s going to be a destination here in Palmer, no it’s going to pull people from a 30 mile radius,” spokesperson Emma Ladd Shepherd said.

“Palmer needs economic development and growth and this is a wonderful opportunity for us to do just that. And also for all of the infrastructure improvements that have been laid out, almost $40 million worth, including exit 8 and 14 different areas throughout the community,” Chair of “Yes! For Palmer” Elaine Boone said.

Both the pro and anti casino groups have opened downtown store fronts. Mohegan Sun has maintained their own store front for five years.

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