Slots for schools not a gamble everyone wants to makeWhy...

SATURDAY MAILBOX

May 16, 1998

Slots for schools not a gamble everyone wants to make

Why is it that politicians feel that we lack the ability to see how we are being led down the lpath of no return.

I remember when we were told that the piggyback tax was just a temporary solution to a problem that is still with us many years after its implementation.

The lottery and Lotto and all the other games of chance we can buy with the dream of winning millions was suppose to pay the bill for education in Maryland.

Now we are told we need slots to help pay for education. If we do not have slot machines at racetracks we will lose racing in Maryland.

Please talk to those who live near Dover Downs. They have seen what gambling has done for them. It has increased crime. Talk to New Orleans about their problems with gambling.

It has not been a boon to any of these areas. The only ones who really want this are those who will benefit financially. If allowed at the tracks, gambling parlors downtown would follow, and we know who would benefit from that -- hotel owners.

Believe me, I enjoy going to Atlantic City and losing my money as much as the next person. I just see what it has done to Atlantic City, and I don't want that for my city. Call me a not-in-my-backyard person, but Baltimore has enough crime and grime that cannot be controlled.

cation and not diverted to pet projects. Gambling hasn't solved our problems in the past, and it won't in the future. Gov. Parris N. Glendening is right on this one.

/# Lois Raimondi Munchel Baltimore

Yes, if for schools

Edward kBurns wrote one of the most eloquent grass-roots-oriented Oppinion* Commentary articles April 27, "Schoolchildren hurt by budget cut," I've read in The Sun in some time.

Through his article's song of sorrow, he makes a subtle case for raising education revenue by the proposed taxing of slot machines at the racetracks.

If through tamper-free legislation we can be guaranteed that funds from slot-machine assessments will be routed to our children's education and the support network we sorely need in our schools, then so be it.

In the face of rising parental abuse, dysfunctional households and the inability of our state government to recognize the need of children in its largest city, let us gamble on the building of our children's hearts, minds and souls rather than gamble to build bleachers, baselines and backstops.

I love Orioles baseball and Ravens football, but I love children more.

Craig Alan Leigh

Baltimore

'A giant siphn'

The casino gambling empire threatens to sink its greedy fingers into every corner of Maryland. Abundant documentation is available to show the folly of our permitting this.

In other states, where the corporate gambling triumph has already occurred, citizens know what a poor choice it has been and now realize the immense difficulty of reversing it.

In those states, many law-enforcement officials and ordinary people cannot imagine how we could support widespread casino gambling.

In Montana, for example, virtually every restaurant (including family restaurants) evolves into a mini-casino. Degradation of the community is an assured result.

Organized gambling ruins people and communities. Think of a giant siphon, sucking out our well-being directly into the pockets of greedy casino corporations, with token payoffs to properly subservient government entities.

Letting the casino economy enter under the guise of funding improved schools, and the like, is a cruel hoax.

Beware, Maryland, of self-serving arguments favoring the growth organized gambling.

David F. Thompson

Elkton

No gambling at all?

Just wondering...when will the governor abolish the Maryland State Lottery Agency?

McNair Taylor

Baltimore

Slots, and more

Although I favor legalized gambling in Maryland, I do not believe slot machines at state racetracks go far enough to benefit citizens.

Poverty is the primary cause of most of the city's social ills. Create meaningful jobs, and the conditions of the poor will improve.

A nonprofit casino industry, similar to those run by

Native-American tribes, could be the spur for an economic boom.

I would allow the casinos in Baltimore only in areas away from the family-oriented Inner Harbor. They would not be allowed to serve food (except light hors d'oeuvres) or free beverages. This would prevent them from establishing restaurants and bars.

Most importantly, they would be operated by community organizations, with the proceeds funneled back into neighborhoods.

A nonprofit gaming industry could empower many Baltimoreans

and elevate the city to a first-tier tourist destination. Every night, even in the middle of winter, downtown could be as active as if an Orioles game had just let out.

John Tully

Glen Burnie

No, to both questions

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