Sunday, October 11, 2009

Issue 3 and the License to Steal...

Issue 3 and the License to Steal...

I have always been one to enjoy a friendly wager. A football game here... a poker game there... all in the sport of playing the odds. It is, in its most basic form, a source of entertainment.

However, I do not like Issue 3 for Ohio. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Ohioans have voted down casino interests on four... FOUR separate occasions. Maybe it is the fact that Ted Strickland and the state legislature attempted to do the old end-around and by-pass voters and legalize gambling in state racetracks through the legislative slide of hand. I know one thing for certain, that whoever wins in the casinos, the real loser is Ohio. Here are some reasons why Ohio should vote NO on Issue 3!!!!

Gambling increases crime, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, child neglect, bankruptcy, divorce, and suicide. Quite a mouthful huh? Every entity that promotes gambling will fail to mention the human impact of casino gambling. According to one source, the state of Utah alone could have up to 88,000 problem gamblers in their state alone. "Dr. Michael Kalm, president of the Utah Psychiatric Association, believes that gambling can be as real an addiction as cocaine or alcohol." (1) Addictive behaviors suggest that the harmful effects of gambling can lead to compulsive and obsessive behaviors as well. Chances are that 1-2% of people who enter a casino become compulsive gamblers losing everything that they have. Will the casinos be there to pick these people up when they crap out?

To say gambling is good for the economy is like saying that a leech is good for your body. Casinos drain away precious economic resources from the daily lives of people. Chances are that gamblers who lose will be less likely to spend their money in a local establishment like a pizza parlor. Casino do not create any product. In the most basic form, casinos are involved in the transfer of wealth from patrons to casino operators. Casino operators see themselves as businessmen. However a local business like a grocery operates on a 5-6% profit margin... casinos are more along the lines of a 30-35% profit margin. They are nothing more than cash cows for those privileged few who own them. Rich and opportunistic millionaires trying to become billionaires on the public's dime.

Finally, and maybe the most troubling aspect of Issue 3 is the fact that the government is supporting casino interests. On four occasions Ohioans have voted against legalizing casinos in Ohio. Now, it appears that maybe people in our own state government are willing to cannibalize fellow Ohioans for a few bucks in tax revenue. Gambling makes losers out of people. Chances are that parents will not hold casinos up as the model to become a successful and productive human being. Why then would we allow the government to push these interests? (2) Quite simply, when the government stops looking out for the best interests of its people, and starts making sweetheart deals with those who would do us harm, then it is a government that must have lost its moral authority to rule by the people.

In closing, arguments abound as to why we should have gambling in Ohio. New York has it, Pennsylvania has it, West Virginia has it, Michigan has it, and Indiana has it... and we are losing billions of dollars in economic revenue. But I like to think along the lines of Warren Buffet who used the analogy of a dog that fouls up every one's yard. If gambling is fouling up everyone else's state, does it make sense to allow that institution to come to Ohio? I encourage all readers to vote No on Issue 3.


No comments: