To the editor of THE EAGLE:

We're proud of what the casino industry is delivering to communities from coast to coast: well-paying jobs and millions of dollars in support of education, public safety, property tax relief and infrastructure improvements. As Massachusetts prepares to move forward in the licensing process, the people of the commonwealth deserve the facts rather than outdated myths and tired stereotypes about the industry (Eagle editorial, "Casino tentacles," May 14).

Communities with casinos have found them to be outstanding partners that fully integrate with the cities and towns in which they operate. Casinos buy supplies from local small businesses, including minority- and women-owned companies, hire local workers and partner with local charitable organizations. This mainstream form of entertainment that millions of Americans enjoy each year not only drives economic benefits, but also builds the communities in which they are located.

Once construction begins and the casino resort doors open, we're confident that Massachusetts will join Bethlehem, Pa., Kansas City, Mo., and communities across the country in understanding the benefits of casinos as valued partners and as one component of a strategic and multifaceted economic development plan.

GEOFF FREEMAN

Washington, D.C.

The writer is president and chief
executive officer of the American Gaming Association.