UPDATE: Large Opposition to possible new Missouri casino at local planning meeting

Casino Watch Focus reported that a meeting was being held by the St Louis Planning Commission regarding a possible new casino in North St Louis.  Now, The St Louis Post Dispatch is reporting the results of the meeting and feelings of the community – and it wasn’t very positive for the casinos:

Opponents turned out at the hearing in large numbers to voice concerns about North County Development’s plans for a casino…Dora Gianoulakis, president of the Spanish Lake Community Association and an opposition leader, called the umbrella of individuals and groups allied against the developers “an interesting mixture of people.”

That mixture has brought together disparate worldviews. Conservative Christians have found themselves standing alongside environmentalists, for instance. And anti-gambling Christians may link up with the last group they’d ever expected to agree with — owners of the six other casinos in the St. Louis area.

There are a number of reasons to voice opposition and The Post Dispatch outlined a number of those arguments:

The concern among some Christians in Spanish Lake extends beyond what they see as the moral hazards of gambling. “This is also about the stewardship of our environment,” said the Rev. Daniel Hite, chairman of Missouri Clergy Against Gambling Expansion. “The environmental impact is part of the consideration.”

A waterfowl refuge that makes up a large section of the southern part of the conservation area, and that is closed to the public for four months out of the year, parallels the northern border of the proposed casino complex site, and is separated from it by only 500 feet.

[Also]… members of Spanish Lake’s faith community say a casino would hinder their efforts to work with the poor. People with fewer means tend to be attracted to the lure of easy money won at a casino, they say, and when they lose the little money they have, the cycle continues.

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