After nearly three weeks of road blocks, including licensing and environmental reviews, construction on a resort casino is finally getting started in Everett, Massachusetts. But some residents in the area feel they have been dealt a losing hand.
An abandoned industrial yard along the Mystic River is being turned into the gleaming new Wynn Boston Harbor resort casino.
With the promise of thousands of jobs and top-notch entertainment, officials hope it will enhance the area and be a huge draw for tourists.
But in Boston's Chinatown neighborhood, Maggie Tan says her ex-husband turned into a gambling addict traveling to casinos several hours away. And now, with Wynn less than five miles from her neighborhood, she's concerned the allure will bring others down.
"I want the casino to know that gambling will affect my family a lot," she said.
Compared to the rest of the U.S. population, a recent study shows Asians are less likely to gamble. However, the ones who do gamble are more likely to become gambling addicts unable to stop, leading to severe consequences.
"Some Chinese don't look at gambling as entertainment, but work," said Giles Li of the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center.
Li is asking the state to fund a new counseling program for gamblers who need help.
"There needs to be more community-based, language-specific education programs to prevent compulsive gambling," he said.
"We are very close to the Asian community here in Boston," said Vice President Robert Desalvio of Wynn Resorts.
Desalvio says Asians are an important clientele for business at Wynn, but that anyone with an addiction will not be targeted.
"He left the home, and left the children," said Tan.
Tan says she's now divorced and struggling to raise two children on her own. She hopes the casino will not prey on the people in her community who are the most at risk.