Letters: More gambling won’t save city or state

SHARE Letters: More gambling won’t save city or state

Gambling interests have paid for a study that overestimates revenue and jobs and fails to factor in any of the social costs — addiction, bankruptcy, crime, family problems and suicide.

Winnebago County trustees recently rejected proposals for video gambling at a grocery store and bar and voted to keep a ban on video gambling. The Will County Board passed a ban to prevent any more video gambling establishments in unincorporated areas.

Municipalities that approved video gambling are now trying to limit video gambling. Rockford, Springfield, Peoria and other cities have enacted ordinances requiring 50 to 60 percent of the revenue to come from food and drink sales at video gambling establishments. Loves Park is capping the number of video gambling parlors, which are neighborhood casinos that target women.

On average, electronic gambling devices/slot machines take one net job away from the economy every year. Each gambling machine takes an average of $300,000 in consumer spending out of the economy, according to the U.S. International Gambling Report.

A city-owned casino for Chicago or a massive expansion of casino gambling that includes one for Chicago is being negotiated behind closed doors. More gambling will not solve the budget problems for Illinois or Chicago, but will create more problems, costs and negatively affect tourism.

Anita Bedell

Executive Director

Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems

Springfield

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com (Please include the name of your neighborhood or town, and a phone number for verification purposes.)

A waste of money by the University of Illinois

The University of Illinois is looking to cut its budget but claims there is “no low-hanging fruit” left to pick. The university’s recent decision, however, to pay a $180,000 bonus to the outgoing president could have been plucked — and should have been, particularly if that bonus boosts his pension.

C. W. Davis, the Loop

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