- The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts is speaking out against casinos.
Bishop Douglas Fisher says several casinos and slots parlor proposed for the region could end up hurting the poor of the diocese, which stretches from Worcester to the Berkshires.
Gambling facilities have been proposed for Springfield, Worcester, Leominster, Millbury, Milford, Brimfield, West Springfield and Palmer, all within the diocese. One proposal was made for an area of Springfield just blocks from the diocese's mother church, Christ Church Cathedral in Springfield.
Fisher, elected in June 2012, tells The Telegram & Gazette casinos are a tax on the poor that create mostly low-paying jobs, with no real health benefits, and with no economic spin-off. He says gambling facilities bring increased crime, including prostitution and drugs.