I live in Lake Charles, La. Our experience here, in regard to casinos, is vastly different than Kelly McCormick’s letter suggests. (Aug. 31)

In Lake Charles,we have two river boat casinos. There is a racetrack casino 20 miles down the interstate, and there also is a Indian reservation casino 50 miles away. Ground breaking was done on a fifth casino within a mile of my home this past week. The new casino is a $400 million project with an 18-hole golf course, a convention complex and a marina. This new casino has already paid the city $6 million for a new fire station and police substation.

Our restaurants are all very busy, and we have added in the order of 60 local and national chains in the last few years. The local mall was doubled in size and a new area of strip stores and a movie theater has been built. Smaller shopping centers also have been built. Housing starts are nothing but overwhelming.

Our experience with casinos goes back to 1993. They are highly regarded as neighbors and corporate citizens. The amount they pay in taxes and fees has allowed the city of Lake Charles to retire most of its public debt. They also contribute to local charities. The labor force is treated very well, and they are paid a living wage. Those that work directly in the casinos make high end wages for this area.

Jean-Marie Doyon,

Lake Charles, La.

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