|By PR Newswire||
|October 18, 2013 10:35 AM EDT||
Groups call on governor to reject proposed gaming project over social costs
WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an letter released October 11, a coalition of Wisconsin and national groups relayed concerns to Gov. Scott Walker that the Menominee tribal casino proposed for Kenosha will undermine the fabric of surrounding communities, bringing with it crime, increased alcohol and drug abuse and other harmful developments and should not receive the governor's approval.
These organizations, which support the common sense guidelines Walker has said will guide his decision concerning the proposed and unprecedented non-reservation Kenosha casino, asked the governor to reject the tribe's proposal.
Families, businesses and communities in Wisconsin and the nation are concerned that the Obama Administration's waiver for this tribal casino on public land sets a dangerous precedent for the health and safety of adjoining neighborhoods. It also, the groups said, fails to meet federal "commutable distance" requirements and necessary agreement by state stakeholders.
According to the letter, casinos attract corruption, money laundering, loansharking and other criminal activities. Casino-related crimes include DUI, mail theft, property theft, car theft, assault, alcohol and drug abuse, prostitution, passing bad checks and stealing from the workplace – i.e., local businesses.
George Landrith, the president of Frontiers of Freedom, which put the letter together, said, "Gambling can lead to debt, depression, foreclosure, suicide, bankruptcy and divorce. Gamblers have left minor children unattended at casinos, and studies show senior citizens and adolescents can be particularly susceptible to gambling problems."
A study by the Wisconsin Public Policy Research Institute undertaken during the so-called Wisconsin casino boom, showed increases in crime rates in counties with casinos – even when on reservation lands. The associated cost for the increase of 5,300 casino-related crimes came to $51 million for state taxpayers.
"The governor laid down reasonable, regulation-compliant guidelines for the Kenosha casino to be built," FOF Senior Fellow Kerri Toloczko said. "If a precedent is set that tribal casinos are no longer restricted to reservation lands, these facilities will negatively impact adjacent areas in ways not seen previously."
The letter commends Governor Walker for "standing firm in his commitment to principles and values that will keep Wisconsin communities safe, protect our families from negative influences, and keep taxpayers from absorbing the social cost of neighborhood-based gaming."
Other organizations signing the letter include Wisconsin Family Council, Eagle Forum, CitizenLink and Stop Predatory Gambling.
SOURCE Frontiers of Freedom