One aspect of the House bill that absolutely needs to be changed is a provision that would limit the rights of citizens in larger municipalities— like Boston— to have a voice in whether or not a casino is sited in their community. As it stands now, the bill would permit only voters of the ward of a city in closest proximity to a proposed casino to go to the polls to approve or shoot down the idea. In the case of Boston, with all signs pointing towards a likely site in East Boston on the current Suffolk Downs property, that would mean that only East Boston voters would be asked to make the decision about siting a casino in the city.|
State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz has filed an amendment to the Senate version of the casino bill that would require that all of the voters of a municipality will have a say. In the case of a Boston proposal, that would give us a chance to have a voice in whether our city welcomes a casino or not.
Chang-Diaz told the Reporter this week, “These consequences will affect all municipal residents, not just those within a few blocks’ radius of the casino. It’s only fair that all affected residents have an equal say in whether or not the positive impacts of a casino outweigh the economic and social costs to their cities.”
The senator has got it right. All Boston residents deserve a right to have a say in whether or not resort-style gambling sets up shop in our backyard.
Read the entire editorial from the Dorchester Reporter. What do you think?