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Push to Expand Gambling Is at Full Speed

We must learn from the mistakes of others when they expanded gambling in their states.

There is a push taking place in many parts of our nation to expand gambling. Knowing what is being sold is a way to enrich the owners of the casinos and to create a class of people who become addicted to the promise of hitting the jackpot and becoming rich, it is necessary to change the image of gambling. In order to promote gambling, it must be turned into just a game; so therefore, it is now being called gaming.

To assure the credibility of gambling, it must be linked with the government and some government entitlement; therefore, government boards are appointed to oversee the process. We all know how well the government looks after the citizens when they have oversight of the taxpayer’s money. ()

Les Bernal, executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling, has researched the gambling industry across the country.  He has appeared on many network television programs regarding the issue of the state becoming a predator on the citizens by producing a class of losers to fill the coffers of the treasury in a state.

On the web site link above, Les has a list of 11 different lies being told to promote gambling in our nation. For the purpose of space limits in this column, I will list the lies with an encouragement for you to go to the site to see the fuller explanation Les gives to each. As you read through the list, notice in recent weeks that we have been hearing some of these same promises by those who are trying to convince us that what we need is more gambling in Georgia in order to bring jobs and to help assure the future of higher education in our state. It is interesting that the lottery was to provide those same assurances when it was voted in by the citizens. We are now being told that the lottery is going broke and we must expand to more gambling in order to assure success in the future.

This is the list of lies as complied by Les Bernal:

“Predatory gambling will improve government budgets, predatory gambling creates jobs, people will gamble anyway and they are already doing it out-of-state, predatory gambling provides a better life for Native Americans, slot machines don’t addict people, predatory gambling is about personal freedom, public opinion supports predatory gambling, casinos and lotteries are just like any other business, it’s like drinking alcohol, investing in the Stock Market is no different than predatory gambling, and government-sponsored gambling diminishes organized crime.”

We must learn from the mistakes others have made on this issue. We see the budget shortfalls and economic issues other states are facing while being unable to dislodge from the gambling commitments they have made. From where I stand, with the attempts being made to turn the lottery into a success before it goes bust, we do not need to expand gambling in Georgia.

Follow Ray Newman on Twitter @RayNewmanSr

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