The five star fear-mongering letter:
Pluta issued another statement. This letter was sent to folks not in Ward 7… because it was in Ward 7 that she lost to Morse mostly because of the casino non-issue. There is a third letter. If you can make a good scan like above and email me, please do.
This whole casino dialog is meaningless. Why is “The Casino” a talking point for the election when gambling is not even legal at the moment? The bill does not have the Governor’s signature on it nor has it passed the senate vote yet. If this bill does succeed it may end up in a very different vision than the original as there are already 182 amendments to the bill with the original allowing slot machines at the airport, in public schools, and at convenience stores – these have all been nixed in the senate debate. There is no guarantee that there will be a casino at all and if it does happen that it will be in Holyoke. Have you witnessed this Paper City Development crew in action with their attempts to manipulate the city council? They will not say where their money is coming from, and they appear at meetings making promises to every possible challenge that the council proposes. “Oh, sure, we will do that”. Nobody should listen to these freaks until the ink is dry and they provide exactly who they are working for with proof that they have the capital to cover this project. In the end, any casino built in the state will require a license and those licenses will be sold to the highest bidder. If Donald Trump suddenly appears in Holyoke (like he did back in 2007) and he plans to build a casino on top of that other monument to human sickness that is the Holyoke Mall then that is probably where it will end up. God forbid that be the reality, but if it does happen I’d rather it be gloriously tacky with caged lions, martini fountains and a waitstaff of Oompa Loompas that Trump would offer over the the low rent sleaze that the Paper City Development will create. In the end, if Mohegan Sun has land, architectural plans and an office in Palmer you can bet that is where it will end up if Western Massachusetts gets a money pit.
Equally absurd in this whole drama is the very idea that we need to base tax revenue, jobs and “growth” on gambling. I understand that games of chance and gambling have a history that is as long as civilization itself but here in the USA we dress up the ugliness that is the American Dream with it, preying upon the poor and the weak, luring their “disposable” income into a “Luxury Five-Star” trap that makes very few people rich while funding the state tax coffers with dirty money. Preexisting gambling in human history we all know that mind-altering substances have always been around and so has the “oldest profession”. If the state wants to capitalize on vice then they should legalize prostitution and drugs and take all tobacco and hard alcohol sales into state control much like New Hampshire does. This is a lot less risky than a casino because in the worst of economic times people will always be fucking and doing drugs (for the “casual” visitor to H.U.S.H., yes… alcohol and tobacco are drugs).
We should all be curious as to what Pluta really means when she says “Five Star Resort”. I have had that chance to hang out with our lovely mayor on a number of occasions and I can only imagine the horror of what she has in mind. She’s probably thinking Bon Jovi concerts and crab rangoons on a club-card complimentary buffet. Star ratings are almost meaningless except in Europe where an industry association applies the award under strict standardization of requirements. Remember when the Burj al Arab in Dubai lauded itself with the off-the-scale “seven star” award? It was probably deserved because it was the first hotel that actually required an entry fee to simply walk through the door. In the USA I have stayed in many “Five Star” hotels. All that has meant to me is that there is a place to sit in the bathroom other than the toilet, functional wireless internet access, wet bar and an El Salvadorian immigrant cleaning the room twice a day. Big deal, I can accomplish all that in the comfort of my own home. I have also stayed at what have been called “Five Star” hotel resort casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic city. These followed similar requirements but in addition to the comfort, internet and maid service was the use of large amounts of Febreze™ to cover up the smell of vomit, hooker and spilled ninety-nine cent shrimp cocktails. Again, I can accomplish all this in the comfort of home but since I cannot stand the smell of Febreze™ I instead use Pine-Sol™. …and the nicest of “Five Star” places that I have been to were those that were family oriented, usually associated with some pop-ugliness that is Disney, Universal Studios or the like. I don’t see that happening here nor is it appealing. I’d prefer to see cheap prostitutes over people dressed as mascots. Wait a minute…? Whoa, I never thought about that.
Shiny new great paying jobs? The casino will import experienced management and trained table game operators. The remaining jobs, while still requiring a credit and background check, will be valet parking, ash-tray cleaner, buffet stock-person and toilet attendant. Just what we need here in Holyoke. Full time jobs to keep the poor folk poor. There has got to be a better way to create jobs. When this casino operation is finally off the ground it will cost near a billion dollars. To what gain?
We should also not forget the “Internet Cafes” that were deemed illegal in Massachusetts by our State Attorney General. When two of these abominations appeared in Holyoke it was Pluta that said: “They have all the right permits, so I welcome the new business that is there, as I welcome all new business to the city.”
Yes, I do go to casinos. I love to play poker tournaments. I also play mid-stakes cash game poker because at those tables waitresses will deliver free top-shelf liquor or craft beer to me gratis and I can get a back massage while seated at the game. I make a good amount of money playing poker but I never play slots or table games. Call me a hypocrite here if you desire… I’d rather drive long distances to go to these places because I know that with New York and Connecticut already having established gaming we are going to be creating a glut. Whatever ends up in Western Massachusetts will either arrive as or soon deteriorate into a honky-tonk nightmare. Plus, I believe that we can, as a state, come up with better ways to make things work. I don’t see casinos as an answer.