SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - In just a few years, if all goes according to plan, a casino will be built somewhere here in western Massachusetts, but not everyone's happy about that plan.
Members of area churches are filling the steps here at Springfield City Hall to protest what they're calling "a society in miserable circumstances," and they say a casino is only going to make things worse.
The Coalition of Hispanic Ministers of Western Mass planned the event, which also feature teenagers from several ministries in Springfield.
Like it or not, a casino will be built somewhere in our part of the state; however, these churchgoers say building it in a large urban area like Springfield is a bad idea. They believe crime and gambling addiction will skyrocket. Organizers say this demonstration is about upholding moral values.
Reverend Ramon Arce, the president of the Clergy Coalition of Western Mass., told 22News, "With the economy that we have, a lot of people are going to try to make a quick buck. They'll go there, go to the slot machines, and that's where the problems will begin. Why cause a problem when we can avoid it?"
The casino bill that Governor Patrick signed into law allows three resort style casinos to be built in the state. One of those licenses is designated for Western Mass.
A number of developers have publicly expressed interest in the City of Springfield as a possible casino site.