Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Last Call at the Casino

"Restaurants oppose late hours for alcohol at Mass. casinos" by Jon Chesto Globe Staff  June 05, 2018

The two resort casinos that will open soon in Massachusetts want the party to go all night long. And the restaurant industry wants to cut them off.

The Massachusetts Restaurant Association this week asked state gambling regulators to reject MGM Resorts’ request to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. at the casino that opens in Springfield this summer.

That doesn't look like a very good idea.

MRA chief executive Bob Luz says many restaurant owners in the Springfield area are nervous about the financial hit they could see when MGM opens. They’re worried, he said, about competing for customers, and for employees. Casinos can give away food, beverages, and entertainment to attract gamblers — their primary source of revenue. Restaurants, Luz says, should at least be able to compete within the same operating hours.

F*** the financial hit, what about the danger of drunk drivers on the road in the early morning hours?

Luz points out that the two casinos in Connecticut — Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun — as well as the Twin River casino in Rhode Island do not serve alcohol after 2 a.m.

No establishment in Massachusetts previously has been allowed to serve alcohol beyond that time, but lawmakers tucked a provision into the state budget last year that allows casinos to serve until 4 — with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s approval. The commission is expected to decide on MGM’s request later in June.

MGM spokeswoman Carole Brennan said the casino plans to close its in-house bars at 2 a.m. and will only serve alcohol later on the casino floor. The MGM casino plans to give away most of the drinks during those later hours, with the exception of some high-end brand names.

“Extended service would be limited to the casino floor and available only through a cocktail server utilizing a single beverage station that will not be open to the public,” Brennan said.

MGM’s request has won the endorsement of the Springfield City Council’s casino oversight committee. Committee chairman Michael Fenton said allowing MGM to serve alcohol in the later hours, under the strict controls the company proposes, would benefit the casino and the regional economy.


Wynn Resorts, which is planning to open the Encore Boston Harbor casino in 2019, also wants later alcohol hours. Like MGM, Wynn would limit the post-2 a.m. serving to active gamblers on the casino floor. Robert DeSalvio, the president of the Everett casino, said tourists from around the world will expect a late-night casino experience. 

Then tell them to go someplace else. Never wanted these money-laundering organized crime outfits here to begin with!

“In order to be globally competitive and maintain our commitment to deliver an enjoyable stay for guests, ... we support extended cocktail service in the highly controlled environment of the casino floor,” DeSalvio said in a statement.

Wynn’s Everett location on Boston’s doorstep is likely to be of even more concern to Luz and his association, particularly with the casino’s appeal to conventioneers. That’s another reason why Luz is registering his opinion now with state regulators, to get his opposition on record, although he might have a hard time spoiling this party.....


Just be careful walking home.

"Haverhill mom allegedly injected heroin in car with children before crashing" by Jerome Campbell and Travis Andersen Globe Staff  June 26, 2018

HAVERHILL — A 36-year-old mother faced a judge here Tuesday for allegedly injecting heroin while in a car with her 2-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son, then crashing the vehicle into a tree and injuring both children.

Kimberly Joy Desrochers was held without bail after her arraignment at a Haverhill session of Newburyport District Court. She pleaded not guilty to charges including assault and battery of a child, serious injury to a child, and child endangerment. She’s due back in court July 2 for a dangerousness hearing.

On Monday, Desrochers’ morning began with a trip to Salem with her ex-boyfriend so she could buy heroin, according to a police report filed in court. After the purchase, she used heroin intravenously with her children present, the report said. Then, around 10:30 a.m., she slammed her gray Honda Accord into a tree on Killam Hill Road in Boxford, police said. There were no skid marks at the crash scene that would normally suggest an effort to brake before impact, according to the filing.

“There was no indication the operator did anything to correct herself when she went off the roadway,” Boxford Police Chief James B. Riter said in a telephone interview before the arraignment. “There were no skid marks . . . the car went straight into the tree.”

Police found Desrochers and her children inside the vehicle after the crash. Her son was unresponsive and seriously hurt, the filing said, and her toddler was conscious in a car seat in the back. All three were taken to Beverly Hospital.

Desrochers told paramedics she uses heroin daily and sometimes supplements her half-gram dosage with Klonopin and Suboxone when the drug doesn’t work “fast enough,” records show.

She’s been in trouble for impaired driving before. In 2015, she admitted to sufficient facts in a drunken driving case out of Lowell District Court, legal filings show. During the Dec. 5, 2014, incident, she crashed her Honda Civic into a mile marker sign while driving northbound on I-495 near exit 37, according to court records. The marker sign was sticking out the front windshield when the responding officer arrived, records show. 

Just wondering why she still has a license. 

Good for the regional economy?

A responding officer noted that Desrochers slurred her speech when she claimed she had consumed one and a half drinks of Smirnoff Ice a couple hours before the crash, according to filings. She blew 0.17, well above the legal limit, and had her license suspended for 45 days after making her admission in court, records show. She was also required to attend alcohol education classes.

On Tuesday, Desrochers’ son was being treated for severe head injuries at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, according to authorities. Her daughter was released from the hospital, according to prosecutors. The state Department of Children and Families confirmed in a brief statement that the agency was made aware of the crash. The DCF “received a report and is investigating in collaboration with law enforcement,” the child protection agency said.

They didn't rip the kids from her arms and take them, did they?