Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Asbury Dems: We got along without slots before, we can do it again

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At its monthly meeting on June 20, the Asbury Democratic Club agreed without objection to go on record as being opposed to slot machines in Maryland.

The club is of the opinion that the state has survived past economic problems without legalizing slots and can do so again through this present economic downturn. Prior to reaching this decision the club listened to an opponent to the slots and extended an invitation to someone to speak for the machines. The proponent was unable to attend.

There are many reasons for the club’s opposition including but not limited to the following:

*Where slots are legal, many individuals spend what money they have on gambling, wasting family’s money and decreasing donations to charities.

*It has been demonstrated that slots and other gambling behaviors are addictive, like drugs.

*There are the expenses of doing business that are not often thought of in calculating costs. The state lottery will have to compete with betting, and it is estimated that there would be a 10 percent to 20 percent decline in lottery sales. The funds that now to go into the general fund would go into betting. Receipt of sales taxes on the purchases of taxable items would drop by an estimated billion dollars because the money is going to betting.

*Stop Slots Maryland believes that the slots industry, when it is established, will in time convert itself into casinos, and move away from the racing industry.

*The racing industry must stand on its own two (four) feet and should not be subsidized by those citizens who can least afford it.

Keith Steele, Gaithersburg

The writer is president of the Asbury Democratic Club, which is composed mainly of Asbury Methodist Village residents. It was formed about four years ago and has about 200 members.