Busting myths about casinos | Letter

In a free society citizens are allowed to make their own decisions. Nobody wants a “Nanny State” regulating behavior. Americans from libertarians to progressives agree on this.

In a free society citizens are allowed to make their own decisions. Nobody wants a “Nanny State” regulating behavior. Americans from libertarians to progressives agree on this.

When behavior infringes on others, society is obligated to regulate that behavior. So it is with driving a car, drinking a beer and gambling. Some believe gambling does not affect them. Some members of the Tukwila City Council believes gambling is good as Tukwila casinos generate more than $2 million in tax revenue annually. This belief is misguided. In his book Gambling in America, Baylor University professor Earl Grinols estimates addicted gamblers cost the U.S. between $32.4 billion and $53.8 billion annually, about $274 per adult. With 14,500 adults, gambling costs Tukwila $3.9 million annually.

A majority of the Tukwila City Council believe casinos are not in the best interest of Tukwila. So the council took a bold step and passed Resolution 2323 that sunsets casinos in five years. Behind the scenes casinos aggressively lobbied to rescind Resolution 2323. The council agreed to ask the citizens.

On Nov. 8 you will have the opportunity to vote on Advisory Measure No. 1.

Many of your neighbors believe casinos do more harm than good for our community. That is why “Citizens for a Casino-Free Tukwila” was formed. Please support us.

The casinos and their lobbyists spread myths about gambling (they prefer the term “gaming;” like it’s something you do with your kids). Let’s bust these myths:

The Myth

1 We need the revenue, or we will have to lay off police officers and firemen.

2 Gambling is good for Tukwila’s economy.

3 Gambling provides jobs for Tukwila.

4 Gambling doesn’t contribute to crime.

5 Gambling contributes to the community.

6 Gambling is a personal choice.

7 Gambling is just entertainment.

8 Gambling is no different from tobacco or alcohol.

9 If we ban gambling, people will go to tribal casinos.

10 Life is a gamble.

11 Government should not control gambling.


Myth Busted

1 This is a scare tactic. A council member says cuts can be made without affecting essential services.

2 The only winners are out-of-state casino owners. Studies show small business suffers when a casino moves in.

3 All businesses provide jobs. Casino jobs are low pay.

4 Wrong! Gambling contributes to fraud, identity theft, embezzlement, abuse and a host of other invisible crimes.

5 Casinos drive down residential property values.

6 So is heroin use.

7 Gambling is a drain on our community. We’re not entertained.

8 True, all are addicting and have negative consequences.

9 Perhaps, yet is reliance on gambling in the best interest of our city?

10 Life is about choices and consequences, not luck.

11 When behavior infringes on another person, society has the obligation to limit or regulate that behavior.

Citizens for a Casino Free Tukwila needs your help. We are citizens like you; paying taxes, raising kids and working for a better Tukwila. Visit us at www.FreeTukwila.org.

Richard McLeland-Wieser





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