The Madison County Record Mar. 21, 2013, 11:12am

To the Editor:

Video gambling machines pop up like mushrooms in Highland and pose a danger to the fabric of our society.

Highland gets 5 percent of the take. Chad Hills, of Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, pointed out: "Video gambling provides little economic benefit for municipalities while exposing individuals to a highly addicting activity."

Don Phares, an economist at the University of Missouri (St. Louis), adds:  "Unlike casinos, which create some jobs and foster businesses that cater to the casino-goers, video lottery terminals [VLTs] provide almost no economic benefit to anyone but their owners and the states.”

Voters should note that video terminals are especially dangerous because they offer gamblers a very fast, highly stimulating, rate of play. Faster play also means that bettors lose more money, because each bet a gambler makes is, on average, a loser, so more bets translate into larger losses.

Robert Hunter; clinical psychologist at the Problem Gambling Center in Las Vegas argues: "Lawmakers need to factor into their analysis something that has received little attention thus far: that video gambling machines are ‘the crack cocaine’ of gambling because they are so addictive.” 

Citizens don’t have to allow gambling machines in Highland. Citizens can work to vote them out. Voters will speak on April 9 in a non binding referendum.

VOTE NO to allowing the crack cocaine of gambling addiction in Highland.

Philip W. Chapman


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University of Missouri
104 Jesse Hall Columbia, Missouri 65211
Columbia, Missouri 65211

University of Missouri - St. Louis
1 University Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63121

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