As I note in our Milford Daily News editorial today, the town’s vote Nov. 19 isn’t a referendum on casino gambling. It’s a proposed business development, and we chose to endorse it based on its economic development, infrastructure and revenue benefits.
Because of that approach – and because I had only 800 words to cover a lot of territory – I had to leave out this paragraph restating our position on casinos in general:
In weighing the proposal for a resort casino in Milford, we begin with the principles that undergirded our support for the Massachusetts casino gambling law enacted in 2011: That people should be free to make their own entertainment choices; that compulsive gambling, like other addictions, is better addressed as a public health issue than through legal prohibitions; that a limited number of state-licensed destination casinos is better than opening the market to all comers; than that no casino should be located in a community without an affirmative vote by that community; and that negative impacts should be mitigated through carefully negotiated and binding agreements with the host and neighboring communities.
There’s more to say, including consideration of the objections and tactics of Milford’s neighboring communities, but we’ve got more than a week to discuss it. It’s being fiercely debated in the letters to the editor, and I’m expecting plenty of new correspondence now that the Daily News has gone out on a limb to support Foxwoods’ proposal. I expect to be writing about it more myself, so I’m more than open for argument.