Will Gambling Make its Way into Leominster?

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

On Tuesday, September 24, Leominster held its referendum vote on whether to allow the construction of a new casino. The vote took place at Leominster City Hall, Southeast Elementary School, and several other locations. Whether or not the small city should welcome casinos has been the burning question on voters’ minds as of late. For the past month, Leominster citizens have been strongly voicing their opinions on this issue. Signs either against the casino proposal, or supporting it, can be seen all over the city. Late Tuesday night, the results came in and the casino proposal passed with a little over 61% of the vote. 5,235 voters were for the casinos, and 3,306 were against it.

Supporters of the casino agreement believe that it will greatly benefit the community. The main reason the proposal got so much support is because people believe it will bring a significant number of new jobs to the city. PPE Casino Resorts estimated that there will be 600 jobs in the construction process, and 500-700 new full-time jobs once the casinos finally open. Another reason many people are in favor of this proposal is because they believe the casinos will lead to financial benefits, including tax revenue, for the city of Leominster.

Opponents to the casino proposal believe that the risks outweigh the benefits. Many say that when the casinos are opened there will be increased traffic, drugs, alcohol, gambling addictions and crime. Many opponents to the casino agreement believe that the opening of casinos will lead to an increase in illegal drug activity, petty theft, and breaking and entering, especially into vehicles.

Now that the casino proposal has been passed, PPE Casino Resorts can move forward with its plan to build a 125,000 square foot casino, containing 1,250 slot machines. The casino will be on Jungle Road.

Many SLA students reside in the city of Leominster, and their lives may be impacted by the new casinos. The Pioneer asked two students for their opinion on a casino being built in their home town.

“I don’t think its a very good idea. It will bring a lot of gamblers to Leominster and it will be a negative influence.” – Jorge Heurfano

“I think it’s a bad idea to build a casino in Leominster because it decreases morality in the city. The business is good for the city in some ways but the drugs, alcohol, and gambling that goes along with the casino atmosphere will bring trouble to the city.” – Brenda Castro

What do you think about the casino agreement in Leominster? Share in a comment below.

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Posted on September 26, 2013, in News, Top Stories and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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