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Letter to the Editor by Jack F. Krantz C.E.O
Adventureland Amusement Park and Hotel Complex
Prior to the vote in Dickinson County (Lake Okoboji area)
in July 2003, with 72.4% voting NO to a casino boat.

To the Editor:

Our family business is next to Prairie Meadows Race Track and Casino on the east side of Des Moines. We supported the passage of the gambling law. Now, ten years later, I can admit that we were wrong in doing so. Greed overpowered and outweighed our commitment to common sense and morals. Greed is an influential motivator.

We have found that we have received (gained) little or no business from the venture. Your local businesses, bars, restaurants, and liquor stores will discover that the greed that presently consumes them will dissipate when they realize that the facility that they now promote and support wholeheartedly will have a hand in the inevitable decline and possible demise of their businesses and harm their employees and customers.

The industry has enormous financial resources. It is only a matter of time before they build hotels, motels and restaurants in your area. They will attract gamblers to their facilities with “free or nearly free” food and lodging. You will not be able to compete. This is how they make their money – by stealing customers and profit away from local establishments. They aren’t going to let you in on it. They want to keep you in the dark until it is too late. It destroys. It does not build. Look at Council Bluffs as an example.

More importantly, my company has to date, lost four valued employees due to embezzlements caused by their gambling habits. These were people who had never gambled before!

There is no doubt that it is destroying the moral fiber of Iowa. Ever since it first appeared in our state pro-gamblers have tried to justify it by listing economic values. What is the value of a life? What is the value of a job? Four people would still have jobs, would still have their lives if it were not for legalized gambling.

People are sometimes unwise in their decisions, but why tempt them? Why give them any more possibilities for mistakes and increase their chances of making them? Why put a facility and its companions of crime and addiction within reach of the people in our own communities, people we live with and deal with on a day-to-day basis? It just doesn’t make sense.

My wife’s family was in business in Okoboji for many years. We are proud of the home we own on the lake. The last thing we want to see happen to a prosperous, family oriented community is the atrocities we have brought upon ourselves and the rest of Iowa.

The campaign to stop the industry from invading the Lakes area is not just to campaign against all the negatives it brings to the community, but against greed itself. The illusion is that when everybody wins, everybody gets rich. Not true, my friends. The industry strikes gold netting most of the money. The state government gets the bulk of the rest. The county and city in which gambling is located gets a whopping 1% to split. Match those numbers up with the lost revenue the industry steals from local businesses, higher property taxes and increased costs to the community. It is a lose-lose situation.

My company and I are not trying to give the impression we are “do-gooders” or say “I told you so”. We only want to admit to our errors and present to you the facts as we see them. Don’t make the same mistake we in central Iowa did.


Jack F. Krantz
Adventureland Amusement Park and Hotel Complex

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