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Curtatone Talks Casinos and Political Future on NECN

"I live closer to the proposed casino [in Everett] than the mayor of Everett," Somerville's mayor said in a recent TV interview.

Publication: Somerville Patch/ By Chris Orchard

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone continued to speak out against casinos during an interview on NECN's "Broadside" with Jim Braude.

"I've been opposed to casinos because casinos and gambling don't build communities," Curtatone said during the interview.

The mayor has spoken forcefully against a proposed casino in Everett that would be built on Somerville's doorstep, just across the Mystic River from the new Assembly Row development. He's also proposed a ballot initiative to reverse the state's 2011 gambling law that allows casinos in Massachusetts.

Curtatone told Braude, "I live closer to the proposed casino than the mayor of Everett."

He said the casino law is flawed, because while residents of Everett voted in support of a casino in their city, nobody from Chelsea, Charlestown, Medford or Somerville—the surrounding communities—had a say. "That just doesn't make sense," he said.

Curtatone argued "dozens of dozens of studies" that are "backed up by data," show casinos aren't good for communities.

"No matter where you go around this country, you can't point to an example of where casinos have uplifted a community," he said.

With casinos, "you're displacing millions of dollars of discretionary income, which should be spent on Main Street, in our neighborhood districts and downtowns," the mayor said.

Possible run for governor

Braude also asked about Curtatone's political future, particularly his possible run for governor. The NECN reporter asked if the mayor's stance on casinos was part of a platform for running for statewide office.

"This has nothing to do with if I'm running for governor," Curtatone said.

The mayor said he hadn't made a decision on running yet, and he was still considering how it would affect his family and professional life.

However, if you start watching about 6:30 minutes into the interview, you'll see a sneak peek of what Curtatone might sound like as a gubernatorial candidate.

You can watch the whole interview here.