The ugly specter of local bars, restaurants and social clubs turning into mini-casinos is again rearing its head as Pennsylvania lurches towards another budget crisis.
Contact your state representative and senator now! Tell them it is wrong to expand gambling to fill a hole in the 2010-2011 state budget. Click here to find your representative and senator. Please send them a letter or email, or if you can, meet with her/him.
Legislative leaders and Gov. Rendell have conceived an array of ill-conceived proposals to expand gambling. Pennsylvanians must remain on alert for a closed-door, back room during budget season.
The latest idea comes from a western Pennsylvania House member Tim Mahoney. He wants to allow even more video poker machines at social clubs, bars and restaurants than were included in a proposal already approved by the House Gaming Oversight committee.
Please act now! Tell your representative and senator to oppose Mahoney's plan and every other proposal to bring mini-casinos into our communities. Urge them to oppose any expansion of gambling in Pennsylvania.
The United Methodist Church believes gambling is wrong. It is bad public policy. Mini casinos in our neighborhoods will mean more gambling addicts, destroying families and straining already burdened human services agencies.
Important Letter, Email Writing Tips
- Always be courteous and respectful. You can be both firm and polite. Thank the representative/senator for taking the time to read your letter/email.
- A brief message is often the most effective one.
- Personalize the issue and write about the reasons you find most convincing. Use examples from your own life if you can.
- Always include your name, address and contact information.
- There are many reasons to oppose video poker in Pennsylvania. Some are listed below. If helpful, use one or two in your communication with your representative or senator.
Why Mini-Casinos Are Bad for Pennsylvania.
- Video Poker is the 'Crack Cocaine' of Gambling Addiction. Video poker machines are the worst form of predatory gambling. Gambling addiction experts say video poker is more dangerous than any other type of gambling device.
- Gambling preys on vulnerable people, offering false hope, destroying lives and families in the process.
- Every plan would allow more video poker machines in restaurants and taverns than in licensed slots parlors in Pennsylvania
- Research shows the rate of gambling addiction rises dramatically in places offering computerized video poker. Imagine thousands of these machines in taverns, restaurants and social clubs. Non-gamblers are more likely to sit at the bar in their local tavern and take a chance on these computerized machines where they will undoubtedly lose.
- Allowing video poker in restaurants and other public places will expose children to the dangers of gambling.Current law says you have to be 21 years of age to enter one of Pennsylvania's slots casinos. There are no restrictions in restaurants where families go for a meal. Under these proposals, children will see first-hand the addictive nature of these machines. Then they will experience the terrible consequences of addiction on addicts' families.
- Relying on gambling to fund state services is a patently wrong-headed policy. It's the coward's way to avoid making difficult decisions on raising revenue through more traditional - and responsible and reliable - means.