Last month, lawmakers in two states, Massachusetts and Kentucky, said no to proposals to expand gambling. Is it a trend?
Lotteries and casinos promise the moon. Those in the industry, such as Holly Thomsen with the American Gaming Association, claim they deliver.
“Casino resorts and the gaming industry do bring in the capitol investment, they bring in tax revenue, they generate jobs and improve the communities where they are located.”
But Tom Gray with the National Coalition Against Gambling Expansion says the trend indicates people don’t buy it.
“Since 2004 there have been 10 states that have gone to the ballot box in state-wide referendums and voted ‘no’ to either bringing casinos in, or expanding the number of casinos within their communities.”
Gray says people are doing their math.
“When you say who plays and who pays, we wind up with you pay whether you gamble or not because you pay for the people who are brought down by gambling.”
Evelio Silvera with CasiNO Watch says gambling may feed local economies, but…
“For every dollar of tax revenue the state receives, they are spending up to three dollars in new social costs.”
Gray says casinos are in the business of separating people from their money. Nationwide gambling revenues totaled $32 billion dollars in 2006.