Slots at Home?



Should some of our legislators have their way, our fair state—once known for supplying arms for our military in every war since the Revolution, and later as the insurance capital of the U.S.—could soon rival Reno as our country’s gambling capital.

When Congress opened Pandora’s box by passing the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988, only Nevada and New Jersey allowed casinos. There are now thirty-nine states awash with a 1,000 casinos, just half of them Indian. Connecticut, with its endemic budget crises, was quick to hop on board. Foxwood and Mohegan Sun, strategically located between New York and Boston, became the world’s largest casinos, their slots feeding state coffers $430 million a year. It was not to last.

There were only eight casinos in the Northeast when Foxwood opened in 1992, seven of them in Atlantic City. As long as Connecticut casinos enjoyed a monopoly, they could coin money. Now there are fifty-six, and a possible seventy with pending proposals. Competition from slots parlors and casinos in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island has cut deeply into casino revenue here, and contributions to the state have dropped to just $300 million. Foxwood has defaulted on its bonds and is still in debt.

This may seem like good news for people alarmed by the mass appeal of today’s highly efficient electronic slots designed to maximize betting speed and take. But besides the enormous social cost of gambling, evidence of its economic cost is found in the dramatic rise in arrests for embezzlement. Since Foxwood opened, arrests have increased 400% to ten times the national average, leading a columnist to label southeastern Connecticut the Embezzlement Capital of the World. One embezzler was Ledyard’s tax collector who stole $320,000 to cover her losses playing Foxwood slots.

Moreover, because of lost revenue from out-of-state betters, the state has turned to its own citizens to fill the gap, leading weak-minded legislators to devise other schemes to milk those who can least afford it through widened availability of slots.

Spearheading an effort to counter pressure to expand gambling is Robert Steele, former U.S. Representative for eastern Connecticut. He is sounding the alarm about what the powerful gaming lobby is up to, especially its effort to legalize Internet gambling, and has come to Greenwich twice to deliver impassioned warnings of the lobby’s nefarious plans.

The threat is real. According to Steele, in the waning hours of the 2013 budget session legislative leaders slipped in legalization of Keno, i.e., online betting, without exposing the rider to appropriate committees or public debate until the day of the vote. It made Keno available in every living room, dorm, bar and coffee shop. And a task force is expected to recommend that the General Assembly vote to legalize video slots in Bradley Teletheater in Windsor Locks, Sports Haven in New Haven and Shoreline Star Greyhound Park in Bridgeport. This would constitute the largest expansion of legalized gambling here since Lowell Weicker opened the door for our two mega-casinos.

It will be a tragedy for Connecticut and our way of life if through greed and lack of political courage our legislators and the Governor’s office turn to gambling to answer our fiscal problems. The real price is far higher than the politicians will admit.

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

    2014.09.20
     @ Meli-Melo of Greenwich

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • Meet Nomi Eve, Author of Henna House

    2014.10.22

    An evocative and stirring novel about a young woman living in the fascinating and rarely portrayed community of Yemenite Jews of the mid-twentieth...

  • Financial Literacy 2-Day Lecture Presented by Bob Salomon at YMCA of Greenwich

    2014.10.21
     @ YMCA of Greenwich

    Making sense of the world of finance FREE and open to all *Participants should pick up a copy of the Wall Street Journal on Oct.22, as Bob...

  • Susan G. Komen CT Educational Session at YMCA of Greenwich

    2014.10.22
     @ YMCA of Greenwich

    FREE AND OPEN TO THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY! Learn about the importance of early detection and screenings Meet the men and women whose work is...

  • YMCA of Greenwich Harvest Art Week

    2014.10.18
     @ YMCA of Greenwich

    YMCA of Greenwich Harvest Art Week October 18 - 26, 2014 Join us for a week-long celebration of local art! Showcasing established and emerging...

  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

    2014.10.11
     @ Canfin Gallery

    “The beauty of the physical world becomes a metaphor for the capacity of the spirit to reveal itself". Ira Barkoff Evocation of...

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

    SPLURGE and the Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital are partnering to bring comfort and encouragement to cancer patients.  From October...

  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • Greenwich Chamber of Commerce Networking Event

    2014.10.23
     @ Delamar Hotel

    Greenwich Chamber of Commerce will hold its October After Six Networking event. All are invited to exchange business cards, enjoy appetizers and...

  • October After Six

    2014.10.23
     @ Delamar Hotel

    Join us for After Six Networking at the Delamar Hotel

  • Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

    2014.10.23

    Athome Magazine celebrates Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams' fall collection with fabulous vignettes from some of your favorite A-List designers....

  • Oktoberfest 2014 Greenwich United Way

    2014.10.24
     @ Loading Dock

    Greenwich United Way’s sixth annual “Oktoberfest” fundraiser is set for Friday, October 24 at Stamford’s Loading...

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

    Imagine Candy located in Scarsdale Village- Winner of 2014 Best West of Westchester by Westchester Magazine- holds a Belgian Chocolate and Candy...

  • The Food Network Open Casting Call for Home Cooks

    2014.10.25
     @ My Cooking Party

    FOOD NETWORK’S TOP CELEBRITY CHEFS ARE SCOURING THE NATION IN SEARCH OF AMAZING HOME COOKS! You’ve watched them on TV, bought their...

  • Greenwich Hospital Gala

    2014.10.25
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    It will be a Gala worthy of a doge when retiring Greenwich Hospital president and CEO, Frank A. Corvino, will be presented with the...

  • The Wilton Fall Antiques Market

    2014.10.26
     @ Wilton High School Field House

    Barnstar Productions and the Wilton Historical Society will present the Wilton Antiques Market. More than 80 exhibitors are expected to...

  • La Soirée d’ Automne at Bistro Versailles

    2014.10.27
     @ Bistro Versailles and Patisserie

    Wine dinners at Bistro Versailles are entertaining social events held on a regular basis. Socialize with friends and mingle with other attendees...


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