Instant Racing Article 1-2009

January 2009

Why expanded gambling must be opposed

200901 MMany think that it’s only about “religion,” but even a quick glance reveals the profound policy and moral complications it brings.

Though most proponents of slot machines think that those who oppose expanded gambling do so on strictly religious grounds, the policy aspects of the issue are far more clear. Listed are the four policy reasons why The Family Foundation has worked against government-authorized casino gambling. It is important to note that ALL of these reflect the basic premise that any government should protect its people, not encourage them to become losers so that it (and its closest friends) can profit.

#1 The Family is targeted.

Only Moms and Dads (and a few singles) can gamble.  All other tax revenue generating entities like businesses and corporations cannot.  This leaves families alone being targeted to balance the entire state budget (and lose all the money casino advocates call “revenue”).

#2 Businesses will lose.

Even common sense tells us that taking hundreds of millions of dollars from Kentucky citizens means hundreds of millions that they cannot spend on furniture, automobiles, school supplies, and groceries. Small businesses, in particular, suffer.  DO NOT BELIEVE those who say casinos “energize the economy.”  A casino acts as a vacuum, gathering consumer dollars into its winnings.

#3 Government will be corrupted.

With the casino industry handling as much money as is in the state’s annual General Fund (and 50 percent more), it will own the legislature – even just through legal contributions, much less the  illegal ones that always follow. What does that mean?  Who knows!  But it is clear that Nevada’s “casino-controlled” legislature chose to legalize prostitution for those pushing “good times.”

#4 “The Vulnerable” are destroyed.

Not all people who gamble are vulnerable, but those who are spiral down and take others with them in the consequences of their addiction:  family stress, child neglect, child abuse, spouse neglect, spouse abuse, separation, divorce, bankruptcy, embezzlement, imprisonment, depression, suicide.  Without doubt, the greatest victims are the children — they will carry the scars for life.

The Big Problem

But besides these four policy reasons is the greater implication of what the gambling industry believes and what effect it will have on the culture once it is established and entrenched.  Sadly, the various manipulations in the “Instant Racing” court case and all the deceptions and power-politics in their failed legislative efforts are illustrative of their lack of a moral plumb line — it is all about the money.  And all of these things have happened before they have the money flowing to buy more influence.

It is important to note that Nevada legislature has legalized prostitution.  Is that because everyday legislators wanted to create “good jobs for women”?  Or was it the moneyed power-brokers wanting something else that supposedly “Happens in Vegas and stays in Vegas”?

There are 13 abortion clinics in Las Vegas alone.  There are only two in all of Kentucky.  Reality is this: On the two most important issues of our time – the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage – the gambling industry chooses the wrong side every time.


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