Not another casino vote

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Please tell me that we are not going to have a vote on a casino in Maine again. Each time this issue comes up, it is the same tired arguments why a casino would be good for us — namely that the revenue would help our schools and create jobs.

As state after state looks to gambling as its panacea out of economic crisis, we always fail to remember the huge problems that the states that already have gambling are facing: Nevada, New Jersey, Connecticut and Louisiana. These states have been unable to solve their economic woes with gambling firmly entrenched in their respective economies. Why? The answer is obvious: As more states develop gambling, the same revenue is being divided among more states. It is the principle of diminishing returns when competition has a fixed pot from which to draw.

Gambling takes from people and cannot return anywhere near as much.

Gambling may entertain the few who can afford it, but the greater percentage of people can’t afford to gamble. This money is taken out of the economy by a scale disproportionately related to what is promised to be returned in taxes. The need for more police, fire and rescue services will increase dramatically. Taxes meant for schools will have to go elsewhere. Infrastructural costs will be enormously expensive and perpetually draining. Ultimately, as usual, the few will benefit from the many.

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Don’t be fooled. A casino in Maine is the wrong approach to economic development.

Mark Wood, Poland

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