JCUA is a member of the Task Force to Oppose Casino Gambling in Chicago, a group that has existed for 20 years– opposing every attempt to bring gambling to the city. The below letter to the editor was written by Doug Dobmeyer, task force spokesperson, to address casino gambling, as the issue is before the Illinois General Assembly during the veto session.
November 9, 2010
To The Editor:
Forces are again at work to bring a casino to Chicago with 4,000 gambling positions and three other locations for 3,600 positions. Wait there is more – the proposed bill would allow 6,300 gambling machines at Illinois’ six horse tracks. And there is even more, 800 more gambling positions at existing and new casinos for a total of 10,400 more gambling positions. Finally, the state in the midst of a budget emergency would allocate money to County Fairs to conduct wagering on horse racing and all riverboats may become land-based casinos.
Wow, that’s a lot of gambling. Considering the gambling public lost on average $102 per person in October, that’s a lot of money lost to the gambling bosses. Money that was lost from college funds, mortgage or rent payments and food for the family funds.
These gambling efforts are led by a former legislator who is now a lobbyist. But, the gamblers are also trying to reinvent the norms of society to accommodate more gambling in an over saturated market.
Chicago has consistently made it known through public opinion mechanisms they do not want casinos in the city. At the same time, gambling interests want to legalize over 15,000 video poker machines in the city. What do they want – total gambling slaves of the people living and visiting in Chicago?
Let’s hope that cooler heads will prevail. Chicago is a fine world class city without gambling in our city limits. Let’s keep it that way and work to support our fine sports teams, putting kids through school instead of worrying about “the Man” collecting his winnings.
Members of the Task for to Oppose Gambling in Chicago include:
St. Sabina’s Catholic Church
First United Methodist Church (Chicago Temple)
Jewish Council on Urban Affairs
Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems
Community Renewal Society
Protestants for the Common Good
Jeannie Evans, attorney and Public Affairs Representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Americans for Democratic Action
United Methodist Church
Epiphany UCC Church
Community Renewal Society
Anti-Gambling Task Force United Methodist Church Northern Illinois
League of Women Voters of Chicago
David Orr, Cook County Clerk
Better Government Association
Voices for Illinois Children