04-14-2007: Letters to Editor

In regards to the racetrack and casino proposal, it is my earnest hope that we will not not allow this project to proceed, considering the damage that it will do to our community.

In our country, 15 million people (5 percent) display some sign of gambling addiction. The suicide rate for pathological gamblers is twenty times higher than for non-gamblers (one in five attempts suicide); The average rate of divorce for problem gamblers is nearly double that of non-gamblers. We can expect harm to come to hundreds of families in our community. Crime will likely increase; consider that After casinos opened in Atlantic City, crime increased 100 percent.

How can this be good for our community? Any financial good would have to be used for the increased need for law enforcement. If you think that a racetrack will make us a better place, go to Albuquerque and drive around the area near theirs. Just do it with your windows rolled up and your doors locked.

Moral issues aside, common sense is against this: we are too small community for something like this to be beneficial. A racetrack/casino would be less harmful to a larger community, where the financial impact can be absorbed, or perhaps a more affluent community. But we are a small, lower income community, and this plan will have an obvious, negative impact on us. I find it rather ironic that one of the “positives” cited for this project was that funds would go to the rehabilitation of gambling addicts. That sounds to me like saying that a plus to hitting myself in the head with a hammer is that I won’t feel it when I pass out. Why not just avoid the problem?

There is no such thing as free money; we will pay more than money for the cost of this project.

Brian Haines