Groups Discuss Potential Negative Impacts of Casinos

Published 06/19 2014 04:27PM

Updated 06/19 2014 05:17PM

"If you're betting on casinos to give our area an economic boost, you'll lose."

That's the message from Les Bernal, who is the National Director of Stop Predatory Gambling, based in Washington D.C.

He spoke at the Endwell United Methodist Church last night.

Bernal says there are more than 10 independent studies that show casinos don't help areas, but rather drain income and pull down communities.

He says about half of casino revenues come from people who are addicted to gambling.

"There is absolutely no independent evidence from across this country that this works. Just on the surface, how could it work? Right? This is a wealth transfer. There is no wealth creation when people lose their money at a casino," said Bernal. "The only people who win when there is a casino are the people who own the casino. The reason why your public officials are supporting it is that they see it as a new revenue source."

Bernal says the vast majority of the time owners and operators of casinos don't gamble because they don't want to lose money.

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