Say no to video gaming

The Madison County Record Aug. 3, 2012, 4:11am

To the Editor:

Illinois legislators' profligate and out of control spending has placed Illinois in debt. However, our vaunted legislators came up with a new way to raise funds while further impoverishing their citizens.

The latest legislative rage from Springfield is video gaming. Under the new Illinois law the tavern owner will get 35 percent, the owners of the machines 35 percent, Illinois 25 percent, and the municipality 5 percent.

Civic leaders and voters might in Collinsville, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Granite City, and Alton, might carefully consider looking this gift horse in the mouth for it appears suddenly, much like the proverbial Trojan Horse to destroy our cultural fabric.

Video gaming will hurt our citizenry.

First, gambling has a disproportionate amount of the poorest people taking part. Personal discretionary income is not used in machines, instead people use monies that should be for food, shelter, and medicine.

I've seen addicted gamers unable to feed their children or pay their rent while vendors grow wealthy. Studies show where gambling increases, addiction, bankruptcy, and crime also increase.

Lastly, citizens must lose large amounts for real income to accrue to Highland. For example, $5 million spent in the machines equals $250,000 for any municipality. However, $5 million spent on machines means millions less for small business, retail stores, restaurants, charity, and personal savings.

What do you think? Should local government prosper while families suffer?

Philip W. Chapman

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