Steve Beshear's main campaign theme has been "legalize casinos" to help solve Kentucky's financial woes.
So how does he answer these questions?
And by the way, I hate to quote the source of this information, but what’s right is right.
Notes on Casino Gambling from the Texas Republican Party:
WRECKS THE ECONOMY
Gambling venues devastate the economy for both gamblers and non-gamblers:
Studies show that VLTs (video slot machines) cost states $3 in social costs for every $1 of revenue generated.
Without including costs related to suicides and abused dollars, estimates of costs to taxpayers range from $13,000 - $52,000 a year per addicted gambler.
Compulsive gamblers cost the U.S. economy about $80 billion annually - $10 billion more than that spent to combat drug abuse.
The poor provide 90% of gambling revenue.
Gambling is a regressive, invisible tax paid directly by the poor and vulnerable, but indirectly by all taxpayers who must shoulder the burden for the subsequent social costs.
Sept. 2004 research showed casinos hiked violent crime 13%.
Everywhere video slot machines have been legalized, crime rates have skyrocketed, including aggravated assault, rape, robbery, larceny, burglary, auto theft, embezzlement, and fraud.
1st 3 years of gambling in Atlantic City, New Jersey went from 50th in nation in per capita crime to 1st in the nation.
This results in:
Increased Need for Enforcement – police, fire, EMS, lighting, and other crime prevention costs.
Increased Overload of Court System.
Increased Overload of Prison System.
Costs include lawsuits and legal costs as well as bill collection costs.
Bankruptcy rates in counties with state sponsored gambling are 18 % higher than in counties that have no gambling.
Increased Business & Employment Losses
Businesses suffer lost productivity, lost work time, unemployment related employer costs from employees who become addicted.
Cannibalizes other industries – restaurants, clothing stores, theaters, and other retail shops suffer in direct proportion to the gambling industry’s success. Thus, it changes the economic base and character of local communities.
Fully half of the small businesses in Atlantic City closed in the first years of legalized gambling there.
Riverboat gambling in Natchez, MS gutted the local business community.
Increased Government Social Services
Need to create or increase government social services such as gambling addiction treatment/therapy costs.
Resulting increase in unemployment, welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and other social services drain local resources as well as state and federal taxpayer programs.
Increased Government Regulatory Expenses
Requires expansion of regulatory agencies, infrastructure, and government salaries.