MADISON – Nearly 900 residents from across the state joined Citizens Against Expanded Gambling’s tele-townhall last night to discuss the dangers of expanding gambling in Wisconsin. Congressman Glenn Grothman strongly voiced his opposition to any new casinos, noting the negative impact far outweighs any benefit they bring to a community. “If you put a casino in Shullsburg, in Beloit, in Kenosha, you are going to have an increased amount of loss. Behind all of those losses, will be more people who don’t have money to spend at local restaurants, on their home, or for education. [Gambling] is not a good way to build a strong economy,” said Congressman Grothman.
Participants also heard from Les Bernal, National Director of Stop Predatory Gambling, who spoke about the corrupt practices of the gambling industry. “You have a business that is inherently dishonest. It’s designed for you to lose. They only operate with the blessing of state government. The state partners with these casinos. [The state] operates the lottery,” said Bernal.
Today, a large majority of the dollars spent by state government on advertising is devoted to promoting state sanctioned gambling. This advertising comes at a cost that can be measured by both the tax dollars that are spent and the negative impact on the lives of Americans. At one time, government encouraged citizens to save their money, by investing it in municipal bonds and savings bonds. Today, government actively encourages citizens to gamble – it’s a predatory practice with very clear consequences.
When asked if more gambling was a bad bet for Wisconsin, 82% of tele-townhall respondents said they thought more gambling was not a good solution, and 86% believe that taxpayers’ dollars should not used to promote gambling.
Wisconsin needs to invest in the future of its citizens by encouraging businesses that promote real economic growth across multiple industries and make communities and families strong, not businesses that take the wealth without leaving behind any investment.