By L. A. Williams
Christian Action League
August 29, 2013
KINGS MOUNTAIN — A recent study showed the bells, whistles, dings, beeps and “ca-chings” of slot machines cause gamblers to overestimate the number of times they’ve won. Ironically, it seems the “losses disguised as wins” effect could be taking hold in Cleveland County long before the first slot machine is installed or even approved, as job-hungry residents and county economic developers seek to pave the way for a Catawba Indian casino.
“These claims of numbers of jobs are like the bells on that slot machine ringing and chiming even when the bottom line shows a loss,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina. “People are so desperate for quick ways to earn cash; they’ll embrace this kind of development that truly robs their community as the game goes on.”
Although the Catawba Nation is located across the South Carolina line, reports emerged earlier this month that the tribe was trying to negotiate a deal with Governor Pat McCrory’s Office to open a casino south of Kings Mountain just of I-85. The Shelby Star reported Tuesday that resort projections show construction of a 220,000-square-foot gaming facility and 750 hotel rooms could create 5,000 jobs with 4,000 others expected in 2015 when the proposed facility would be slated to open for business.
“We know there is a great need for jobs, but this kind of construction is not the answer for a struggling economy,” said Dr. Creech. “In the longer run of things, gambling always cost communities more in social services and other expenses than it brings in. It’s a delusion – a mirage of prosperity. And it makes us shallow, materialistic, and insensitive to the plight of our neighbor because at the heart of the matter it’s taking advantage of our neighbor. The glitter of Las Vegas wasn’t built upon the backs of winners, but losers – people who were essentially conned by the prospect of hitting it big. It’s a fool’s game and a fool’s industry. And we shouldn’t allow it to make fools of the people of North Carolina. North Carolina has enough foolishness on the Cherokee reservation.”
He said the voices of Christians across the state and especially church leaders need to be heard above the empty promises of economic prosperity offered by the gambling industry.
“We’ve already heard some lawmakers speaking in opposition to a casino, and that’s great,” he added. “But we need individuals and churches also to contact the Governor’s Office and ask respectfully that he not approve any expansion of gambling in our state. We should see this for what it is – an expansion of Las Vegas style gambling in the Tar Heel state.”
Take Christian Action:
Contact the office of Gov. Pat McCrory and politely ask that the Governor oppose the further expansion of Casino Gambling in the Tar Heel state. To reach the office of the Governor call, (919) 814-2000.