TOLEDO, Ohio (WWLP) - Casinos are expected to bring jobs and an economic boost to Massachusetts, but will that actually be the case?
Toledo, Ohio, a city similar in population and economics to Springfield, has seen big changes since a resort-style casino came to town.
Like most communities where a casino has been planned, the idea of a casino in Toledo was not free of controversy. Mayor Michael Bell told 22News that there was resistance when the casino first arrived, but since it has been in business, its presence has been a good thing for the community.
"Greatest benefit is when you have a city like Toledo that is trying to come out of recession, people need a positive motivation to believe in something, that someone's prepared to put a business here that costs a lot of money, into the city of Toledo," Bell said.
Like Springfield, Toledo has had an unemployment rate of over 14% in the last three years, and the recession has changed many people's opinions of the casino for the better.
Still, traffic and crime were big concerns for area residents, as they have been for people in greater Springfield.
Ken Sczensniak of Toledo said that he doesn't think the casino has made the city any less safe.
"As a former police officer here in the community, I have not seen any influx in traffic or crime. They've been good neighbors, that's best I can say at this point in time," Sczensniak said.
On 22News starting at 5 Tuesday, reporter Shannon Halligan will talk to Toledo business owners about how this casino has affected them.