Electronic gambling devices(EGDs)/slot machines as the “crack-cocaine” of gambling for creating new gambling addicts—similar to drug addiction. Teens and young adults, the Nintendo generation, are already at a 4 to 12 percent problematic gambling rate, which is double the gambling addiction rate of the older Baby Boomers Generation (2 to 6 percent).Around gambling facilities, gambling families are spending 10 percent less on food and 25 percent less on clothing, and 37percent are raiding their bank savings accounts to dump the money into slot machines. Each machine effectively drains an average of $300,000 per year out of the consumer economy. That $300,000 per machine is money that is no longer being spent to buy cars, refrigerators, computers, and even the essentials of life.
Remember we are the people who live out our faith in part by observing “Three Simple Rules.” The first of these rules is “do no harm.” The United Methodist perspective on gambling could not be more relevant to the revenue issues that we are facing here in Illinois.
I was pleased last week that the Illinois General Assembly took up the important business of a capital construction bill that would tend to much needed infrastructure work and provide jobs.
But I was profoundly disappointed that the funding package for the program includes the dangerous expansion of gambling in Illinois. I am persuaded that such an expansion will do great injury and harm.
Remember, we are a people who live out their faith by observing "Three Simple Rules." The first of these rules is "do no harm."