×

Objection to gambling casino

TIMOTHY J. MULLEN

State College

I have several objections to permitting a gambling casino of any size within five miles of 46,000 teenage college students at Penn State — or within five miles of anyone for that matter:

1. Having a gambling casino so close to a major university will be putting temptation in the paths of tens of thousands of teenage college students that in too many cases can be described as “children in adult bodies.” And many of us know how well some college students are in resisting temptation. The fake IDs that are already being used to obtain alcohol are going to be tried out to gain entry into any gambling casino they can get anywhere near.

2. Gambling has been considered both immoral and illegal for centuries in the Commonwealth and throughout the country to the point that it has been operated as an illegal enterprise associated with organized crime. It is highly questionable that any gambling casino can exist today without some connection with organized crime. And I understood years ago that members of the Mafia have put on business suits and have made an intentional effort to operate their criminal activities behind the facades of legitimacy of for-profit businesses.

3. Casino gambling is legalized thievery. All the games in a gambling casino are rigged in favor of the house and the owner of the games. And it would not surprise me if all games that can be controlled by a computer algorithm are. In other words, no one will be allowed to “win” until a certain amount of money has been lost by those playing the “games of chance.” Slot machines are called “one-armed bandits” for a reason. As a friend said to his daughter when he was driving her down The Strip in Las Vegas, “Do you see all this (the gambling casinos with their glittering neon lights). All this was built by losers.”

He didn’t mention and probably didn’t know that the Las Vegas gambling casinos were built and run by the Mafia. The Mafia godfathers would play poker in a back room of a casino and skim off one-hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) once in a while, just enough for their card games.

4. The promises of hundreds of short-term and permanent jobs as well as millions of dollars (in bribes) that will be paid annually to the municipal governments that will host the proposed gambling casino reminds me of these wise words:

“If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.”

5. The individuals, including local businessmen, who propose locating a gambling casino in Centre County state that there will be information posted in the casino directing gamblers struggling with gambling addiction to resources that can help them recover from their addiction. And that will work as well as the Surgeon General’s Warning on every pack of cigarettes does in encouraging chain smokers to stop smoking or seek help to recover from their nicotine addiction. If you believe that then I have a bridge that I can sell you at a very reasonable price. Anyone ever heard the expression about “Closing the barn door after the horse is out?”

6. A gambling casino is not a non-profit charitable organization. It is a for-profit business that has to take in so much money/profit (from losers) every day to pay all its expenses and keep the doors open for one more day. How much money do those proposing the new gambling casino expect to bring in per day? The community deserves to know the answer to this question.

7. A gambling casino with its rigged “games of (fat) chance” is the worst form of what I call “cannibalistic capitalism.” People are gaining “profits” and “winnings” through many other people’s losses in real time. That is cannibalistic. People are figuratively consuming other people. One group of people walk away from the gambling casino and go laughing all the way to the bank while another much larger group of people leave the casino with empty pockets.

8. Which members of the community will be lured into a gambling casino besides those teenage college students who will be attracted by both the allure of forbiddance and the challenge of gaining entry without getting caught? Have studies been done to determine what percentage of the patrons of a gambling casino will be the working poor and senior citizens on fixed incomes?

Neither have extra money that they can afford to lose, especially if they have dependents.

A gambling casino in Centre County would be a blot and a blight upon several nearby communities.

If any local people have the urge to throw away money, then they can go to Harrisburg and line the pockets to the casino owners there.

Merry Christmas.

And a Happy New Year.

NEWSLETTER

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *
   

COMMENTS

Starting at $3.69/week.

Subscribe Today