You may not think this is a big issue for your family, but it can be very quickly. I encourage you to read this and think about the implications.
Information compiled by: Evangelist Jon Groves
The gambling industry promises “easy money,” “painless taxes,” and “instant prosperity”.
GAMBLING COSTS MORE THAN IT COULD EVERY PAY IN TAXES OR BUSINESS!
In 1979, Mayor Joseph Lazarow told Parade magazine, “I don’t know how we ever figured gambling would help our senior citizens. So far, it’s rocketing real estate values in Atlantic City. The poor and aged have been forced out or had their rents doubled, tripled, or quadrupled.”
David G. Sciarra of Cape Atlantic Legal Services says, “Gambling has in no way been beneficial to poor people. It’s been a nightmare.”
The idea that gambling revenues can be used to finance government is a popular one. But in New Jersey the $18 million that the state will collect from casino betting will hardly make a dent in the state’s $4.7 billion annual budget. In the 1980′s, Governor Bredan T. Byrne said, “Politicians who suggest casinos as an answer to rising taxes are irresponsible.”
In no place except Nevada does the take from gambling operations contribute more than 4 percent to a state’s budget. In most states, revenues from lotteries, off-track betting, and other forms of gambling amount to less than 2 percent. This won’t lessen anyone’s taxes or raise teacher salaries!
WHAT THE FBI SAID
The story is the same wherever gambling is legalized. Herbert Jenkins, former President of the International Association of Police Chiefs, said “that for every dollar received in gambling taxes, government spends ten dollars fighting problems directly related to legalized gambling, prostitution, embezzlement, bad checks and police corruption.”
Former FBI Director Clarence Kelley declared “that legalized gambling would not help eliminate corruption, but rather would develop a new class of gamblers who would switch to the illegal games as their addiction grows.”
WHAT CRIME COMMISSIONS HAVE SAID
Milton R. Wessel, a lawyer who headed a special government study on organized crime, declared, “Fully half of the syndicates’ income from gambling is earmarked for protection money paid to police and politicians.” Approximately 4.5 billion dollars annually go from gamblers to public officials as bribes.
Attorney General Kennedy wrote in 1962, “No one knows exactly how much money is involved in gambling in the United States. What we do know is that the American people are spending more on gambling than on medical care or education; that, in so doing, they are putting up the money for corruption of public officials and the vicious activities of the dope peddlers, loan sharks.”
The late Chief William Parker of the Los Angeles Police Department was on of the first to state “that any society depending upon the weakness of its people to exist doesn’t deserve to survive.”
A Florida House Select Committee on Organized Crime, after 15 months of hearings, made the following report regarding casino gambling: “The legalization of casino gambling is opposed as it will greatly increase organized crime activity in Florida. Throughout the committee’s hearings, law enforcement officials, ex-organized crime members and experts in the area, testified as to the pervasive, negative effects casino gambling would have on the state of Florida. Street Crimes, including pornography, drugs, prostitution, loan-sharking, burglary and con games, would increase. Organized crime would infiltrate labor unions and service industries, as has happened in other states.”
IT WON’T DO MUCH FOR TOURISM!
The State Comptroller’s office in Florida reported “over 80% of the gambling is done by Florida residents.”
In a little over two decades the number of Gamblers Anonymous chapters in the United States has grown from one -in Los Angeles- to more than 350 chapters, with more than 6,000 active members. Gamblers Anonymous surveys show that the number of chapters has grown fastest in those states which have the most legalized gambling.
But one thing is certain, say psychologists who work with compulsive gamblers: “Their ranks have grown dramatically as the trend toward legalized gambling has grown.”
Legalized gambling contributes nothing to the economy. It takes from those who have earned and gives to those who have not earned. It fosters a philosophy of something for nothing, destructive of the American conviction that success follows the application of industry and abilities to activities productive for the common good.
Sooner or later, it attracts in its train a class of citizens that is not a credit to society and that makes no contribution to the welfare of the people.
A GREAT CONSIDERATION
Along with an increase in gambling goes an increase in unpaid bills, embezzlement, bankruptcy, and absenteeism from jobs. Gambling centers often have difficulty attracting large industries. Gambling produces nothing; adds nothing to the economy or society for our nation.
SHOULD OUR COMMUNITY HAVE GAMBLING CASINOS?
“Should our community have gambling casinos?” is one of those dumb questions to which there is no sensible answer. There is no sensible answer because it all depends on what kind of community you are talking about, and what kind of community it would like to be.
To suppose that any community could have gambling casinos and then remain substantially as it was is to imagine that you can start drinking a quart of liquor a day and remain substantially as you were. No way, as the kids put it.
A community inevitably changes its character and composition when it allows or encourages gambling casinos. Regulated as it may be, the gambling syndrome attracts high-rollers and low lifes, prostitutes and pimps, gangsters and con men, and scads of suckers the rest of them fatten on.
There is no way you can run a gambling casino like a ‘church social’! The community doubtless has a right to decide what kind of place it wants to be – but it cannot be several different kinds of places at the same time, nor can it remain the same under changed conditions.
The gambling interests simply lie when they suggest that a community will prosper from their presence; it may prosper economically, but it is bound to decay socially.
WHAT ABOUT OUR FAMILIES?
Perhaps the greatest destruction wreaked by gambling is on the family unit. From the perpetually poor slum dwellers who gamble the milk money on the daily number at 999-1 odds to the casino hoppers in Las Vegas, who take their own lives at a rate three times the national average, the story is a grim one.
Gambling harms not only those directly involved but innocent persons as well. All the members of a community stand to suffer from gambling. Especially vulnerable are member of the gambler’s family. Gambling creates financial problems and tensions in the home. AS one member of Gamblers Anonymous stated, “It is difficult to say whether the gambler or his wife is the more physically, mentally and emotionally damaged by the averages of a gambling binge.”
Innocent persons – sometimes children – suffer maiming and death when criminal elements collide in gambling disputes.
The following is the testimony of a wife whose husband was a gambler:
“I was twenty-three years old when I learned that the pounding of the flying hoofs of a racing horse was as vintage wine in the veins of thousands of people, even millions, and they would bet on a horse, forgetting all responsibility. I was the wife of such a man.
“There was a beginning of small bets placed on a favorite horse or dog, and the small grew into larger and larger bets until many times he would lose his entire pay, and his salary was quite large. He began to borrow from friends, from relatives, and then from banks and loan sharks. He began borrowing from his credit union, pawning his watch, putting a mortgage on our car.
“We moved from our nice apartment to a smaller one and on and on down, down, down the road to poverty and embarrassment. Our children, highly intelligent, had developed a personality contrary to their natural one. They had a very severe inferiority complex and became moody, and did not wish to take part in school activities.
“We never took charity because we had relatives and friends who helped. Always my husband insisted he would hit the jackpot and he could give his family all the fine things he wanted them to have.
“He began to drink heavily and became abusive in language and deeds.
“We did all we could to help him, and to no avail. We were evicted from our apartment. I went home to stay with my people, and he promised if we would help he would never make another bet. We pulled him out of a $5,000.00 debt. My son saved enough money to make a down payment on a home. For a while he kept his promise, but as soon as the $5,000.00 debt was paid off he was gambling again. And one day I learned he had borrowed $3,800.00 from his credit union. When he passed away, he had mortgaged our new home, borrowed on insurance and dropped a $5,800.00 policy, all unknown to me.
“I did volunteer social service for several years and learned of dire poverty, hunger, disgrace, broken homes, disturbed children, debts, and many on welfare.
“Unknown to me he dropped insurance policies taken out to send our children to college.
“We did not have the things in life we should have had. Why? His gambling. When he died, we were head-over-heels in debt. His is not and isolated case. There are millions just like him.”
Senator John Pastore, Rhode Island, said in the 1980′s “ It’s one thing to enjoy recreation. It’s quite another to stage something that bankrupts the family.”
Gambling corrupts people in many ways. The something-for-nothing crave which gambling stimulates tends to undermine character. The hope of winning a fortune causes some to steal for a gambling stake. Professional gamblers bribe policemen, public officials, athletes, and referees. Irresponsibility, child neglect, divorce, and delinquency all seem to go hand in hand with gambling. Gambling appeals to the weaknesses of a man’s character, develops poor traits – recklessness, callousness, covetousness, and stunts spiritual growth. Some people become addicted to gambling. They cannot stop wagering and begin a headlong plunge into personal catastrophe.