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To the Editor:

    Casino supporters want us to believe that they have seeds to grow a giant bean stalk allowing us to climb to economic prosperity.  If this sounds like a fairy tale, that's because it is.

    Let's separate fact from fantasy.  The supporters suggest that casino jobs will make this a better place to live.  Fact or fantasy?  Jobs that pay $6.50 an hour will not improve our community.  They don't provide sufficient income for people to buy homes and pay the property taxes that responsibly support schools and county services and they will not strengthen our local economy.  Jobs that exist only to rearrange money are destructive in nature.

    "Local businesses will do better."  Fact or fantasy?  Will gamblers choose local restaurants over the cheap casino buffet or spend their money at our fertilizer plant, implement store or feed store?  Other casino cities report declines in local business.  Research shows that for every dollar a casino brings to a local economy it actually takes $2-$3 dollars to fund the consequences of that casino being there.  Gamblers won't pay the necessary increases in the cost of law enforcement or municipal upkeep and improvements.  Local banks won't forgive loans so the increase in bankruptcies that go hand-in-hand with casino gambling won't reverberate around the community.  The local committee who organized the casino effort (including area bankers, a school board superintendent and business owners) didn't bother to negotiate a larger share of the profits for the community -- a common practice between casino owners and local municipalities.

    The supporters of the casino hope that we will climb their beanstalk in search of their fantasy.  Solving economic problems is not a cakewalk.  Our local leaders need to work harder to bring businesses to our community that will generate socially responsible economics instead of taking our chances on this bad idea.  would you wager your own home on this bet?  Please don't gamble our community on this fair tale.  Vote "NO" to casino gambling in Washington County on Aug. 31.

Jeanine Redlinger

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