Gambling Expansion's 4 Truths
Updated: Jan 8
The Family Foundation's appeal in this case is not about church-sponsored casino nights or a bet on a football game. This case is about a massive gambling industry-driven expansion of slot gaming.
The unelected Horse Racing Commission's decision to usher in all the burdens of slot gaming without a vote of the people or the General Assembly violates the most fundamental principles of Kentucky's system of government.
The Executive Branch's invasion of the General Assembly's role should not be tolerated and certainly should not receive the Judicial Branch's stamp of approval.
Only the Legislative Branch is equipped to give the consideration that is due the magnitude of the following policy considerations surrounding expanded gaming.
Truth #1: The Family is targeted.
Clearly, gambling doesn’t create new wealth. It only makes wealth change hands.
What hasn’t happened is an honest discussion that tells us from where all the gambling money comes: corporations can’t gamble, nor can businesses, institutions, schools, churches, nonprofits, clubs, or civic groups – only Moms and Dads, and a few single people.
In other words, all the BILLIONS of dollars that is gambled is just a shift of assets FROM the hands of the family INTO the hands of the gambling industry.
Truth #2: Businesses will lose.
As families lose, businesses will lose. Think about it – after all the losses, parents can’t afford to take the family out to eat, buy their children new clothes for school, purchase a new refrigerator or finance anew addition to the house. Other businesses will suffer because money is TAKEN OUT of the economy.
Remember, Las Vegas was built by losers – not winners. Expanding gambling will simply drain millions of dollars of wealth from Kentucky’s communities, and local economies will pay dearly.
Truth #3: Government will be corrupted.
With millions going into the hands of the gambling industry, who will become the greatest contributor and most influential group in the political process?
If our legislature is “gambling friendly” today, how much more “friendly” will it be in ten years when many of its members have received sizeable contributions from the gambling interests?
Now, imagine that there’s a policy debate, like “Should we legalize prostitution?” (as was the case in Nevada). Nevada’s legislature, made up of Moms and Dads just like Kentucky’s, decided to legalize prostitution in order to embellish the gamblers’ “good times.” (Clearly, it wasn’t for “good jobs for women.”) If gambling interests want it, what will the legislature do? The answer: They will do the will of the gambling interests.
Truth #4: The Vulnerable are destroyed.
Though families are targeted, finances aren’t the worst of the costs to families. Financial loss is just the beginning of a tragedy that all the family members experience.
There will be some people whose lives will be totally destroyed – marriage-damaging financial stress, alcoholism, drug use, child neglect and abuse, spouse neglect and abuse, divorce, depression, suicide, embezzlement, imprisonment and crime (both victim and perpetrator). And even worse, their children will lose their childhoods and be affected for a lifetime.
Doctors have a policy regarding their treatment of any patient: First, do no harm. Policymakers in Frankfort would do well to apply this wisdom to the gambling expansion decision because vulnerable families will be destroyed.