Casino Opposition Surfaces: Everett United Addresses Board of Aldermen

The honeymoon, as they say is over.

Local opponents to casino proposal began to surface, just as they have in every other Massachusetts community that is considering a casino proposal.

Two local residents and two non-residents addressed the Board of Aldermen during the public comment period on Monday night to speak out against the resort casino being proposed for Everett by Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn.

Each of the speakers noted that they wanted to see more debate and hear more testimony from those who are opposed to casino gambling, and criticized the Aldermen for making room on the agenda to allow casino supporters – Everett United – to address the body.

“I’m really concerned about the impact that casinos have on the quality of life of those who live near them,” noted one resident. “We should not be seduced by promises, promises, of lower tax rates and more jobs. We need to see how these types of casinos really contribute and find out what kinds of jobs they provide.”

A second resident, Stephanie DuBois said, “the casino doesn’t belong on the agenda tonight. . . you shouldn’t be using this body to help spread a political message.”

DuBois also noted that “any anti-casino groups out there, won’t have the same type of financial resources, as the group that is speaking here tonight.”

The Aldermen also heard from John Ribeiro, an anti-casino crusader from Winthrop who has spoken against casinos around the state, as well as Celeste Myers of East Boston, who also counseled the Aldermen to “avail yourselves of as much information as you can, because at the end of the day what you are looking for is to see a net gain for (the city of Everett). . .”

Myers also reminded the Aldermen that “although extended gaming as they like to call it has been passed into law, doesn’t mean that any community should be forced to host a casino.”

Following the public speaking portion of the agenda, the Aldermen did allow Sandy Juliano, a North Reading resident, Everett businesswoman and founder and president of Everett United to address the board for approximately five minutes to explain Everett United’s support for the casino and its mission as a whole.

Following Juliano’s remarks, the Board of Aldermen did agree to place “any organized group that would like to speak in opposition to the casino” on the agenda for a future meeting.

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