reverse robin hood

Losing money on slots by Bjørn Giesenbauer

The casino gambling industry is playing hardball, in a sneaky, unethical and vile manner, as it seeks to compel the Georgia legislature to allow this industry in Georgia.

We don’t want the gambling industry in Georgia.

To begin with, just look at tactics. The industry is preying on Georgia’s children to get this sinister racket to become legal in our state.

Here’s how: It is operating under the name of the “Committee to Preserve Hope Scholarship.” But when you examine the working of that group, it should properly be called: “The Way To Sneak Casino Gambling by Georgians.” Riding on the popular Hope Scholarship, which would get a piddling of the revenue from gambling, is despicable! How dare they!

We feel most Georgians, while pleased with HOPE, don’t want it funded from the ill-gotten profits of casino gambling! The lottery is about our limits for funding HOPE.

This casino-pushing group even has the audacity to promote the number of jobs which would be created by this gambling industry within our borders. But look carefully: imagine the level of pay for casino jobs! It is not something you want your son or daughter to be involved with.

Do you know any even middle-class employees in the gambling field? Most of the job would be low-level poker dealers, cocktail waitresses or security guards. The gambling industry also talks of jobs outside gambling, including hotels, car rental agencies, other allied fields and accountants. They are right about one thing: gambling will produce many accounting jobs — to make sure they add up all the money the profits of the casinos must move to their high-stakes owners!

Think too how many of those profit dollars would wind up in Georgia. Not many.

Another element in the “Committee to Preserve Hope Scholarship” (remember its real name of the “The Way To Sneak Casino Gambling by Georgians”) is claiming how much money Georgians spend at gambling arenas in the neighboring states of Alabama, Florida and North Carolina. The gambling industry smiles and says that Georgia should keep this money within the state. How about we let Alabama, Florida and North Carolina keep this Georgia money, for they will need it for all the problems that gambling will bring to their states. Gambling breeds insecurity, distrust, poverty and families in trouble. It takes a lot of state money to fight these problems that the gambling industry brings. These three states will need it.

We cite a place where gambling once thrived: Atlantic City, N.J. Along with Las Vegas as two places once for legal gambling in the USA, now the city has fallen on harsh times and is decaying. Gambling has not made the town attractive. Just ask yourself: would you want to live in Atlantic City, or even Las Vegas? Do we see our reasonable, productive and sound way of life in Georgia going on in cities where gambling is the major industry? Most Georgians, we feel, do not think this way.

Just examine who is funding the front for gambling, this so-called “Committee to Preserve Hope Scholarship.” It’s the likes of MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands Corp., Harrah’s Entertainment and other gambling big boys. Are these the type of people we want in Georgia?

Gambling is no panacea to solve Georgia’s budget problems. The only way to beat gambling in Georgia is to tell your legislators that you don’t want gambling here. And remember, also tell them that their name will be on the ballot this November. Let’s keep Georgia casino gambling free.

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Editor's Note: this story first appeared at GwinnettForum.com. Image: Losing money on slots by Bjørn Giesenbauer via flickr and used a Creative Commons license.
Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack is a native Georgian and veteran newspaperman. He published the weekly Wayne County Press for 12 years; was for 13 years the vice president and general manager of Gwinnett Daily News, and for 13 years was associate publisher of the Gwinnett section of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. He now publishes, in retirement, Web sites on Gwinnett County, http://www.gwinnettforum.com, and Georgia news, http://www.georgiaclips.com.