Another Month, Another Lawsuit: Maybe the Gambling Industry in Massachusetts Will Just Destroy Itself

From the excellent Mark Arsenault of the Globe, we learn of another lawsuit (to be filed tomorrow) in the great stampede for casino gambling licenses in Massachusetts.

This time the aggrieved party is a jilted Palmer landowner. ¬†And the claim is that casino developer Mohegan Sun, after entering into a contract to locate a casino on Palmer land, engaged in “secret talks” with Suffolk Downs about locating a casino there instead, then intentionally ran a “lackluster” campaign in Palmer for the necessary approval of its voters. In November, Palmer voters rejected the casino proposal, and now the landowner is preparing to sue Mohegan Sun for breach of contract.

This brings to at least three the number of lawsuits to which the casino industry, itself not yet born (no casino has opened and no license has even been awarded), has given birth. In addition to the Palmer litigation, casino developer Caesars Entertainment is suing Gaming Commission chairman Steve Crosby over a claimed conflict of interest, and casino backers are seeking to keep the entire question of casino gambling from being put to the voters in the November statewide election.

All this contentiousness somehow brings to mind the image of the mythological Ouroboros, the serpent that destroys itself by eating its own tail.

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(We can dream, can’t we?)

Caesars Entertainment in Town to Give Us a Taste of Casino Employment Opportunities

State House News Service is reporting that Caesars Entertainment and Suffolk Downs are jointly hosting an employment forum on Thursday (10/3) “to give local residents a taste of the employment opportunities that await them if the bid to build a casino is successful” — and, just possibly to influence their vote in the November 5th referendum that will determine whether the casino moves forward.

Since I will not be able to attend the forum, I spent some time on Caesars employment website to find out what jobs in a modern casino are like. Of course, everybody knows that modern casinos no longer involve games of baccarat played on plush furniture by rich and exotic people who use cigarette holders. They involve slot machines — in fact, modern casinos are barns packed full of slot machines. Modern slot machines are sophisticated computers designed to extract as much money from players as possible, and the biggest players are people of low and moderate income.

So it may not be a surprise that among the employment opportunities that await the people of East Boston and Revere if the bid to build a casino is successful are jobs like “slots foreperson.” This job involves keeping slots players happy during the hours they spend losing their money and keeping their mind off how much they’re losing. Or, as perhaps only Caesars could describe it:

Slots Foreperson: Actively patrols assigned sections looking for opportunities to surprise and delight guests. Enhances guest’s slot entertainment experience by creating a fun, high-energy environment through the celebration of slot wins and building players’ perception of luck. Displays attentive, upbeat, and enthusiastic behavior throughout the shift. Develops customer loyalty by delivering unparalleled guest interactions as directed by company trained initiatives.

If you’re the kind of person who looks forward every day to “building players’ perception of luck,” which apparently means explaining why it’s not totally a bad thing that the rent money is all gone, this is a job you might want to look into.

(And if anybody finds out what Caesars means by “unparalleled guest interactions,” please write. I am imagining the worst.)