'No' to Casino
I am writing to express my concern over the proposed Oxford Casino. With the loss of manufacturing jobs,the dramatic decline in home building and the tourist industry's dependence on the health of the larger economy, we are all anxious for regional economic development.
The experience of other communities throughout the country with regional casinos offers little evidence that an Oxford Casino will provide the boost our economy needs. The jobs associated with the Casino are largely low-paying service-industry jobs with few or no benefits. New England is already saturated with gambling establishments with several more proposed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
It is hard to imagine that folks from the New York or Boston areas will come to Oxford rather than Foxwoods. An Oxford Casino is likely to be a much bigger drain on the finances of those in our own community than a draw for folks from away. I invite you to explore the economic benefits vs. the negative impacts on communities with casinos throughout the country. Others were promised jobs and economic development, and got significant strains on infrastructure, a rise in the crime rate and a dramatic change in the character of their community.
We do need economic development, but it is my opinion that we would be better to focus on providing necessary goods and services that are less subject to the whims of the economy, and that do not pose such a dramatic risk to the quality of life in our community.