by Kate Boyle
The term “gambling” still holds a degree of negativity in our culture, mainly because of the addictiveness that goes along with it. Millions of people suffer from gambling addiction across the globe, yet the government continues to profit from those who can least afford it. The most recent form of gambling is Keno – a lottery-like game often played at modern casinos. But many government officials no longer want Keno merely in casinos, they want it in restaurants and bars right in your hometown. It’s been an intensely debated topic in Pennsylvania and Governor Corbett has placed Keno at the forefront of his plan to balance the state’s budget.
Governments themselves have even become addicted to gambling. Fifteen states as well as the District of Columbia have already legalized Keno and the fight continues in other states across the country. Keno was authorized by the General Assembly in Connecticut, for example, without a public hearing. 70 percent of Connecticut voters disapprove of using keno to balance the state’s budget yet it was still authorized. A repeal has been introduced.
David Blankenhorn wrote an article last year entitled “Wanna Bet?” which outlines the corruption and exploitation involved in the gambling industry. He writes that, contrary to statements from lawmakers, casinos do not exist to provide jobs or growth to the economy. Much research suggests that, over time, casinos don’t even contribute positively to economic growth. Blankenhorn condemns state lawmakers for propagating an addiction in his article and says:
“State leaders today in both red and blue states, from Mississippi to Massachusetts, are supporting casinos for one reason only: to take money from the vulnerable and unwary, overwhelmingly via slot machines, and deliver a large portion of that money to the state.”
Placing gambling mechanisms like Keno hometown restaurants is like giving an alcoholic another drink or giving a heroin user another injection. The consequences of a gambling addiction are devastating; there is no reason to make it more accessible.
For the sake of Pennsylvania families and our quality of life, join us in telling Gov. Corbett and your state representative and state senator: NO TO MORE GAMBLING. NO TO KENO. Click here to notify the elected leaders in your area.